The Growing Pains of 4o
Now that you are 40 or 40+ years old, are you ready for all the changes that are taking place in your body? It is almost like turning 13 all over again. The new changes that are now taking place are likened to what I would call growing pains. You can look for hot flashes, hormonal changes, increased irritability, and possible increased or decreases in sex drive. Are you ready for all of this? Well, I can tell you I sure wasn’t.
I can remember my first bout with hot flashes. It was time for bed and I was trying to get some sleep. My husband was already asleep and I just could not get comfortable. I tossed and turned for a while but I was burning up. I got up to turn on the ceiling fan thinking this would work. Well…it did not. I tossed and turned some more. I threw the covers off me and just laid there spread eagle. Yeah I said it…spread eagle. I was hot and could not cool off. My husband awoke and asked if I was okay. I immediately told him NO! I am HOT! He got up and turned on the window air conditioner in the connecting room and asks if I was beginning to feel better? Finally! Yes…..relief! I feel asleep shortly afterwards, feeling cool and comfortable.
I had heard of hot flashes before I turned 40 but I really did not take it seriously. I never understood why sometimes my mother would sweat on her forehead for no apparent reason even in the winter time. It would seem that hot flashes are a natural occurrence for women in their 40s.
However, I have found that some women do not experience hot flashes at all. This small inconvenience totally skipped some women.
Lucky them! I was not one of those women.
Now is when the fun begins. During this time, your body is undergoing changes that totally interrupt your life. Your menstrual cycle becomes more irregular and who needs that? The schedule you use to have as far as your menses has now changed into something else. If you are like me, I had not been using any contraceptives since the birth of my daughter now 22 since she was 6 years old. It was my thought that my then new husband and I would have a baby if the opportunity presented itself. Well, it never did and we are okay with that.
But while at work a coworker of mine was discussing how she became pregnant at 40 during her hormonal change and she did not know what to do at the time. Of course she has a healthy beautiful daughter of 22, but this got me to thinking. I did not have my little bundle of joy in my 30s and did not want to get caught in my 40s so I immediately made a doctor’s appointment to fix the situation. Yes, I did discuss it with my husband and we agreed that it did not happen when we expected so now we are fine that it did not so why not get permanent protection. And I did.
Of course during this time, you also experience mood swings. You know what I mean… When you just have moments when you just want to cry for no apparent reason. I use to call this my crazy moment because I clearly did not understand why I wanted to cry. And the overwhelming feeling of emotions from one minute to the next will make you appear unbalanced. At least this is how I feel sometimes until I begin to talk to myself and tell myself that I am okay. Ha..Ha..Ha..I know that sounded extra crazy.
Now this is a good one. Increased irritability is a nice name for short fuse. Yes, because now everything and potentially everyone has a good chance to get on your nerves. No, you don’t have to have a reason to be irritable. You just feel it when you feel the wave building up inside.
I can always tell when I am irritable. My patience become really short and I just don’t want to be bothered by anyone. Where does this come from? Well, in my case I believe it comes from me being a former people pleaser and now… it is just not happening. I have learned that I can’t please everyone so why continue trying? So I stopped and surprisingly it happened at around 40.
Increase or decrease Sex Drive
I guess for some women this could go either way. It just depends on the woman. I know you have heard the stories and even know some 40 year old women whom like to date younger men. Cougars are what they are called. The older woman dates the younger man for sex. Would I do it? Of course not…I am married but I know some women that have and by the way they said the sex is great! This is when they think they are 20 again.
For me the sex drive remained pretty consistent. But I will say how wonderful it is to have great sex and not have to worry about using any contraception of any kind. The freedom of it all is just relaxing and enjoyable which makes all fantasies possible. If you can think it you can do it….hahaha.
As far as a decreased sex drive well I guess a lot of things could take its toll on you such as medication. If you are on medication, decreased libido could be a side effect among other hormonal reasons that are possible. Most of the women I have come into contact with have no complaints of decreased sex drive.
All of these sound close to a female going through adolescent except for the sex part. I can’t say that I had a sex drive at 13 because I wasn’t having sex at the time, thank goodness. That would have really been a mess. Besides the fact that I probably would not have lived to see 14 if my mother had found out.
So the question remains, growing pains or not? Well I am growing older while my body is going through yet another metamorphosis into my peak years.