Yinka Akinkunmi, British Nigerian, finance worker aged 45 shares her menopause story

By July 28, 2018Menologues, YOUR STORIES
Yinka Akinkunmi, shares her menopause story

Yinka Akinkunmi, shares her menopause story

I turned 45 in May, I work in finance and I am married with a son.

I experienced my first symptom 14 years ago aged 31 after the birth of my son. I would sweat every night and have to wake up to change my clothes.  My doctor did not think my problem had anything to do with my hormones let alone peri-menopause and pretty much dismissed my claims. I suffered for 7 years with the night sweats, increased migraines, sensitivity to light, insomnia, palpitations & hot flushes. One day at work, an older colleague (in her fifties) suggested I try taking flaxseed to see if that would alleviate my suffering. I promptly, purchased Virginia harvest Organic Cold Milled Flaxseed (Linseed). After taking flaxseed for 7 days, the night sweats decreased by 60%. Some of the benefits of flaxseed include promoting hormonal balance but there are lots of other benefits as well. My son calls me the human heater, because my skin is always so hot. In the winter months he would cuddle up to enjoy the heat coming from me.

As I had a history of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea my GP had no explanation for the hot flushes & nights sweats. I did not receive a formal diagnosis until I went to see a top UK gynecologist for a follow-up appointment following a procedure I had 8 months prior.

I did not feel comfortable talking to my friends about it because most of my friends felt I was too young to be experiencing the symptoms I described and would rather not talk about menopause due to fear of the unknown.

Coping strategies

  • I am learning to manage my energy levels, due to only being able to sleep for 4 hours or less each night.
  • I love not having periods and I am very positive about the future.
  • On days when I feel particularly tired, I try to organise my workload in a way that minimises too much human interaction and focus on tasks that don’t require engaging with others for long periods of time.
  • The internet has proved to be a good source of information.
  • I also utilise my relationships with older women who have journeyed this way before and ask lots of questions, now that I am a-bit more enlightened about the big change.

Advice to the younger generation about preparing for and coping with menopause

  1. Know your body, look after your body, exercise, eat well & enjoy life.
  2. Don’t suffer in silence. Research, talk to family & friends.
  3. Some of the remedies that have alleviated & cleared my symptoms include; for itchy skin & hot flushes – I infuse thyme in my bath water.
  4. For vaginal dryness – I apply cold pressed coconut oil which has completely resolved this problem.
  5. For the hot flushes – I sleep in very light clothing. With the present warm weather I sleep with my bedroom windows open & use a fan. I continue to take a teaspoon of flaxseed daily & consume foods rich in omega-3.
  6. When I feel overwhelmed, forgetful & fuzzy – I make a to-do list & avoid any stressful situations.
  7. Sometimes, I just take time out to listen to music, podcasts & sleep and l end up feeling refreshed.
  8. My family just let me be during those times. I have learnt the importance of communicating my feelings to close family members, especially on those days when I feel low for no reason, but can’t control how I feel because my hormones are having a moment or two.
  9. I embrace this stage of life with optimism & gratitude knowing that it’s only because I am alive that I am blessed to experience these changes.

Yinka Akinkunmi, 28 July 2018

Yinka Akinkunmi, shares her menopause story


Author Julie

Lawyer (co-founding partner/solicitor of a legal aid practice), blogger, feminist, lover of fashion & beauty. I believe that there are two types of people - the living and the dead. Age has nothing to do with it.

More posts by Julie

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Eboh Patricia says:

    I appreciate your sharing and communicating with others instead of suffering in silence. A word of encouragement from others who have travelled that road could help you relax and face your challenges more boldly rather than run from pillar to post. Reading about people’s experience online helped me alot. Well done and age gracefully.

    • Julie says:

      Hello Patricia, thanks very much for your kind comments. It sounds like you may have a story to share. We would love to hear from you too so others can learn from you. Kind regards, Julie

  • Victoria says:

    You are an encouragement Yinka. Didn’t realise one could start seeing symptons that early, but some of your experiences are triggering the light bulb in me. Your discipline with your diet and your attitude are worthy of emulation. Thank you.

    • Julie says:

      Hello Victoria, thank you so much for your comment. We have been going back and forth on social media trying to work this all out. I hope we will continue to do so in the deeply meaningful way that Yinka has demonstrated and that women as a whole will be better for it. xxx

  • Julia says:

    Hi i am 62yrs and i find cold pressed organic coconut oil is fantastic for dryness too , i also take vitamin D3 and vit C , i also found Chia seeds and mixed seeds and nuts helped my dry skin .

    • Julie says:

      Hello Julia! Thanks very much for reading the article and sharing further tips. Are you using oil extracted from chia and other nuts for to alleviate dry skin?

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I relate to you and your words have encouraged me to keep moving and learn to accept what is. I am 42 years old and experience a lot of your symptoms. It is nice to know I am not alone. I am trying to eat healthy, exercise and stay mindful. I have an appointment with a homeopathic doctor and hope she can give me other options since my doctor suggested Anti- Depressants. Thank you again.

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