Category Archives: Studies About Women

My Estrogen Patch and I Won a Mountain Bike Race!


My estrogen patch, Viv, and I enjoying a Deschutes Brewery River Ale on the podium!

This is just a quick update… but in a nutshell, this post is about how menopause does not turn you into an emotionally-unstable-shriveled-up-old-lady. Ignore that crap. 

Side note: my new hashtag of the month is: #menopawesome. Nice, right? 

A couple of weeks ago I found out I’m not only peri-menopausal, but full-on menopausal. Although I’m generally pretty open about girly things, I found myself reluctant to reveal this information publicly. Anyway, obviously if I’m blogging about it, I decided to out myself–mostly because 1/2 the world goes through menopause and there should be no shame in it.

So there.

My only symptom was several hot flashes through the night, which happened every hour or two. For 3 weeks I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep, and the week before that I’d had jet lag from a month-long trip to Nepal (more on that amazing trip later), so my sleep situation was not good.

I like my sleep. I was getting cranky, and more forgetful and disorganized than usual. And my work was suffering.

Anyway, after a blood test revealed I was in the throes of menopause and not suffering from some awful disease (which I may or may not have been secretly hoping was the case), I found myself on the Vivelle Dot–an estrogen patch. This was unexpected. The average age of menopause is 51. I’m 45. A mere young’un.

Being a geek for studies and bikes, I set about seeing if less estrogen would make me faster on two wheels. I found nothing to support that theory, although I did locate a study that found  “endurance performance was not influenced by the phase of the normal menstrual cycle” or “the synthetic menstrual cycle” of those on oral contraceptives.” Based on that, I figured less estrogen might not make me faster, but it probably wouldn’t slow me down either.

Anyway, back to the sleepless nights…

Thanks to the Vivelle Dot, whom I affectionately refer to as “Viv,” the hot flashes went away, and on my second night with Viv, I slept like a baby, and have done so ever since. 

Even better, since I was actually getting sleep, I was more rested and felt stronger on my bike. And I won my first mountain bike race, the 31.4 mile Cascade Chainbreaker, Sport Women 40-49, on Saturday. 

So Yay for me, thank you Viv, and welcome back Sleep–I’ve missed you! 

PS: I found Viv after doing some research and chatting with my awesome naturopath, weighing all the risks and benefits and taking into account my current state of health. So feel free to judge me for not going 100% au naturale and hormone-free on the menopause thing. This is America–you can think what you want. And know that I get to make my own informed decisions about my body. And I can change my mind at any time based on new information. Yay feminism!! And science!! 



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