'The 4 surprising things I learned about my body during menopause.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Life-Space

A group of girlfriends and I recently caught up over breakfast. For all the reasons under the sun, getting together on the same day at the same time is a rarity. On this particular occasion, our conversation had been brimming with all things related to being in our early 50s.  

From relationships to retinol, it was only a matter of time before we moved on to menopause. We started symptom swapping; one friend was lamenting about the demise of her metabolism, another was contemplating buying a wig because of her thinning hair and my third friend thought she would outshine us, describing night sweats in all their drenched glory. The path to menopause can be long and exhausting.

A quick Google search reveals that there are around 34 symptoms.

How generous.

But while you're here, do you know anything about perimenopause? Mia Freedman talks about it below. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Though as a society we are getting better at talking about menopause, there are some symptoms easier to talk about than others. I share a close and special connection with my friends but at this point wondered if this closeness extended to talking about my parched vagina. We had only, after all, shared our first coffee of the day.


Never mind thinning hair, I was withering in other ways.

Vaginal dryness is a much less discussed symptom of menopause, yet it is also one of the most common symptoms to experience. It can make sex painful and this can have an obvious impact on one’s desire to have sex. My own personal experience led me to discover that prevailing over the discomfort (and embarrassment) of a dry vagina meant educating myself about my overall vaginal health. 

I needed to advocate for my vagina’s wellbeing. More specifically, I was to discover the important (yet rarely talked about) vaginal microbiome: the significant impact it can have on our overall wellbeing, and even how it's impacted by menopause. 

Here are 4 surprising things I learned about my body during menopause.

More than just night sweats.

To some extent I had braced myself for the hot flushes and occasional night sweat but I don’t think I was quite as prepared for those that were more intangible. The brain fog was very real and immensely frustrating. There were days my inability to think straight left me feeling unproductive and a little bit useless. It was exhausting having to work so hard just to concentrate. I am certain my husband was left wondering when I asked him a question that he was sure he had answered... because I had already asked the same question the day before. 

My moods have always been relatively consistent but what menopause did was to heighten my sensitive nature, I felt more fragile and far less confident. Second guessing myself became second nature. Throw in for good measure the challenge of a getting decent night’s sleep and one could say I was not my best self. For one of my friends, her mood swings caught her off guard, especially those that often had her incandescent with rage over the smallest, most ridiculously irrelevant matters. 


I wish I was better informed and much less embarrassed.

I think as a society we are getting better at talking about menopause, including perimenopause. We are less hesitant to talk about the brain fog and the night sweats because as unpleasant as they may be; they are not necessarily confronting to talk about. Whereas there is a sense of feeling a little exposed when talking about our vaginal health. Hot flushes are more compelling and even sometimes entertaining to talk about. What I came to realise is that having a holistic approach to menopause starts with vaginal health, that it is all intertwined. Though a far more sensitive topic and not the least bit fun it is also complex and fascinating, and it is also probably where the conversation should be starting.

What actually is a vaginal microbiome and why it's so important.

Put simply, the vaginal microbiome refers to the ‘ecosystem’ of the vagina. Trillions of microorganisms make up your vaginal microbiome, quite like the microbiome for your gut. It is a little known fact that a healthy vaginal microbiome can have a positive impact on the overall health and wellbeing of women and vagina owners, and menopause can be quite disruptive to the microbiome. 

Fortunately, I discovered that there are ways to help and support a healthy vaginal flora, and Life-Space Probiotics + Menopause Support is aimed to do just that. It's a daily probiotic, containing two strains of beneficial bacteria plus Salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, and it's specifically formulated to help relieve uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, like hot flushes and night sweats, and also support healthy vaginal flora in post-menopausal women.


It also helps support a healthy digestive system, while maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal function. It can also play a role in supporting our general health and wellbeing. We know how important it is to look after our gut health, well this much the same.

Listen: The Quicky speaks to an expert doctor and a woman currently living through menopause about what it's really like. Post continues after podcast.

Menopause does have its benefits.

Having come out the other side, I am delighted to say that with menopause comes benefits! To be finally free of periods, tampon buying, leaky blood, period cramps, and PMS was liberating.

Menopause need not be something to feel apprehensive about. It is natural and normal and let’s face it, we can agree that since ageing is a privilege in itself that perhaps we should see menopause in the same light. 

Just as long as healthcare professionals inform us on how to look after our own health and wellbeing in order to manage the inevitable symptoms.

Help maintain and support a healthy vaginal flora post-menopause with the new Life-Space Probiotics + Menopause Support.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use. 

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

Life-Space is Australia’s No.1 probiotic brand and creates probiotic formulations for Australians; blending, packaging, quality-testing and distributing our products locally as well as around the world. With 20 years of expertise in developing therapeutic products, we are a team of scientists, innovators and passionate ambassadors of the human microbiome.  Research has uncovered that our microbiome - the trillions of microbial cells living in and on us - is intricately linked to almost every process in our body. Our belief is that the next frontier in wellness will come from exploring the amazing, complex world of our microbiome.  We’re committed to exploring and unlocking the incredible potential of the microbiome to support whole-body health for all people, at every life-stage.