Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, & Anxiety (and the one-year anniversary of an ongoing pandemic…)

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of an essential oils bottle on Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, and Anxiety, on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog
SENSITIVE POST WITH POSSIBLE TRIGGERS:  I mean, read the title.  We’re going to talk about some heavy stuff today…  But my goal is to give you some tools to help deal with the heavy stuff.
*This post contains affiliate links.  More explanation about that a bit later…

Managing menopause, endometriosis, anxiety, wobbles, grief…  That is a difficult enough task.  Throw in the one-year anniversary of an ongoing pandemic…  Well, it’s been a struggle…

Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, & Grief:  Take 1

About a year and a half into blogging (18 March 2019), I published a blog entitled “Coping with Endometriosis, Menopause, & Grief.”  In that post, I discussed various strategies I use to cope with a lowered immune system, endo belly, and stress.  At the end of that blog, I stated, “I purposely did not link to products and gave few brand names.  I think it is important that you conduct your own research, finding the products (and brands) that are the best fit for you.”  At that time, I was extremely hesitant to recommend specific products.  You see, I don’t hold a medical or counseling degree nor am I a specialist.  I am simply a childless endo warrior speaking my truth, with the goal of supporting, educating, and advocating.

As months went on (and then a pandemic began the following March 2020), I continued to utilize items such as essential oils, herbs, supplements, and teas for managing menopause, endometriosis, and grief.  And I became more confident that the products I was using were quality items that have the potential to not only help me, but others.  So, I decided to create The Not So Mommy… Shop for Self-Care, Self-Love, Health & WellnessThe Shop contains affiliate links, so I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.  (When I say, “small commission,” I mean it.  I’ve made less than a dollar since The Shop opened at the end of 2020.  And I don’t get paid until I earn at least ten.  The Shop is more about sharing my favorite products, about helping others to manage…)

Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, & Anxiety: Take 2

So, this March 2021, I decided to write a new blog about managing menopause, endometriosis, anxiety, grief, and wobbles.  And I decided that this time, I will link to products and give brand names.  Because while I still believe you should conduct your own research and ensure you purchase the products (and brands) that are the best fit for you, I’d like to help you with that research—by sharing what has worked for me.

All that being said, I need to remind you…

The All-Important Disclaimer…

Not So Mommy…™ is designed to provide information and motivation to readers.  This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice.  The information contained in the blogs, pages, shops, emails, and social media posts is the sole expression and opinion of its author(s).  Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in the blogs, pages, shops, emails, and/or social media posts, you are taking full responsibility for your choices, actions, and results.  (If you’d like to read the entire Not So Mommy…™ Disclosure Policy, click here.)

And now that the legalize is taken care of, let’s talk about managing menopause, endometriosis, and anxiety…

Managing Menopause…

Vaginal Dryness

Okay.  So, let’s just jump right in!

I must say, it is not easy for me to talk about this symptom of menopause.  I was absolutely horrified when this started happening.  Though Dane and I talk about my “female problems” openly, I did not like discussing this particular issue with him.  And I was utterly mortified when we went to the supplement store to try to find something to help combat this problem.  So, typing “vaginal dryness” and putting it as a bold, highlighted heading…  Well, talk about getting out of your comfort zone…

But I know I’m not the only woman who deals with this.  So, I decided not to allow embarrassment to keep me from talking about a natural side-effect of menopause (which I went through in my early 40s, ten years before the average).

Now, I mentioned previously that I talk with my husband about “female problems.”  Dane has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and is quite adept at researching medical issues.  After much searching and trying several different supplements and creams, I think we’ve finally found something that works…

Supplements…

I’ve been taking Membrasin, an oral “vaginal moisture supplement” for almost two months now.  This “SBA24” contains a proprietary blend of sea berry fruit and seed oils, along with bioactive compounds and essential omega fatty acids.  It claims to “restore natural lubrication, relieve vaginal burning & itching, and regenerate vaginal lining.”

For me, personally, it is helping with “natural lubrication.”  Membrasin has become one of my daily supplements.  Though more red in color, I affectionately call it “my pink pill.”  Honestly, I am so grateful that Dane discovered this supplement, which is manufactured in Finland and distributed by Membrasin Life Sciences in Georgia.

Inability to Sleep…

Before menopause, I never had a hard time sleeping.  For the past several years, however, I’ve struggled more with getting a good night’s sleep.  Because of that, I now use Nexon Botanics Zen Sleep every night.  This essential oil blend consists of a proprietary combination of sweet orange, lavender, and rosemary oils. All oils are therapeutic grade and blended in the USA. I dilute Zen Sleep with grapeseed carrier oil every evening and rub it on the bottom of my feet before bed. Not only does it help me sleep, but added bonus… It softens my feet, too!

Managing Endometriosis…

Now, before we chat about how I manage my endo, let me just say that I know warriors get tired of people telling them they shouldn’t eat this, that they should try yoga or tea or meditation…  I get that this chronic illness is very misunderstood (even by medical professionals) and that sometimes, the only thing that works is pain medication and/or surgery.  (And, unfortunately, sometimes those don’t even work.)  So, please, do not be offended when I talk about limiting carbs and drinking hot tea.  These are simply two things that truly have helped me manage my endo belly.  And since they are rather simple, I figure why not share?  If an “easy solution” is possible with endometriosis, then it’s worth exploring, in my humble opinion…

Endo Belly

Endo belly is a symptom of endometriosis that isn’t often discussed within the medical community, but is widely talked about amongst endo warriors.  This bloated stomach is, at best, embarrassing and, at worst, painful.

As I look back, I realized that I’ve suffered with endo belly since puberty.  I never had a completely flat stomach like other girls.  But until starting Not So Mommy… and learning more about endometriosis, I did not realize that my belly was more than just needing to lose a bit of weight or tone up.

Limiting Carbs…

As I became more cognizant of endo symptoms, I realized that carbs aggravate my endo belly.  As someone who loves Italian food and desserts, this is a bit of a bummer!  Dane and I have tried to find some alternatives that allow us to eat our favorite foods, while also helping manage my endo belly.

One such item is black bean noodles.  Because I love creamy pesto!  Now, I’ll be honest, black bean noodles don’t look all that appetizing.  But they are quite low in carbs (about 8 carbs per serving, as compared to 35-47 carbs per serving with other noodles).  And once you cover them in yummy creamy pesto…  Well, they taste pretty darn good!  (We just had creamy pesto with black bean noodles for dinner last week.)  Dane and I buy organic black bean spaghetti noodles from Explore Cuisine.  Because another way I manage menopause and endometriosis is by trying to eat organic as much as possible.

Hot Tea…

Over the past few years, I’ve realized that I need to drink a cuppa Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea every evening.  This black tea with orange and sweet clove helps calm my belly, even during the worst endo flares.  And when I don’t drink it…  Well, I feel more bloated and am in more pain.

Managing Anxiety (and Grief and Wobbles)…

Hormonal Imbalances

I’ve always considered myself a “moody” person.  It’s not something I’m proud of.  It just is.  There are days when I don’t even like to be around myself!

When I became peri-menopausal in my late 30s, I did not realize what was going on.  On average, women go through menopause at age 51.  So, at 37, peri-menopause did not even appear on my radar!  I did know that I did not feel good.  So, my hubby once again began his research, trying to find something to help me stop crying!

As I’ve learned more about menopause, endometriosis, and anxiety, I’ve realized that, sometimes, my hormones get out of whack.  So, I do things to try to keep them balanced…

Supplements…

I’ve already mentioned that I take Membrasin to help with vaginal dryness.  This is actually one of numerous supplements I take on a daily basis.  While I realize some do not believe in natural herbs and supplements, Dane and I have found that we feel significantly better when we are diligent about taking ours.

Some supplements I take to specifically try to help maintain healthy hormones, as well as manage anxiety and stress…

I also take a multivitamin/mineral complex, as well as a probiotic.


Essential Oils…

Above, I mentioned that I use Zen Sleep every evening.  My favorite Nexon Botanics Synergy Blend, however, is Anxiety.  This essential oil blend consists of a proprietary combination of lemon, black spruce, geranium, lavender, ylang ylang, sweet orange, patchouli, clary sage, and frankincense oils. All oils are therapeutic grade and blended in the USA.  I dilute Anxiety with grapeseed carrier oil and rub it on my wrists and behind my ears daily.  When I get anxious, I take a few deep breaths, inhaling the calming scents.  Others have even commented about how good I smell, wondering what perfume I’m wearing.  Not a perfume!  It’s Nexon Botanics Anxiety Essential Oil Blend!

Paraben-Free, Organic, Vegan Beauty Products…

As Dane and I began to eat organic, we felt so much better.  I was being careful about what I put in my body.  But I wasn’t considering what I was putting on my body.  So, I decided that I should be more conscientious about the beauty products I was using.  Because of that, I began searching for reasonably priced paraben-free, organic, and/or vegan beauty products.  Here are some of my faves…

You can learn more about these products at The Not So Mommy… Shop for Self-Care, Self-Love, Health & Wellness.  Because I write every product description over at The Shop.


Exercise…

There are days when I need to sleep-in.  And Sunday…  Well, that’s our day to relax.  We spend it in our chairs in our snug.  And if I’m having a particularly bad endo flare…  Well, I grab my heating pad and blanket and rest.

Most days, however, I’ve learned that I need to exercise.  Even if I don’t 100% feel like it.  Because movement helps keep my sciatic nerve calm, alleviates my endo belly, and improves my over-all mood.

Because of this, I wear my Fitbit every day (except Sunday) and strive to walk 10,000 steps (8,000 minimum).  I also practice Pilates twice a week (with Dane) and aerials once a week (something I do just for myself).  I encourage you to find an exercise that you enjoy, fabulous one.  Several years ago, Dane and I started our exercise journey by taking a walk after dinner…

Some Final Thoughts on Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, & Anxiety…

You know, despite taking all my supplements, eating organic, using paraben-free skincare products, and exercising, I was feeling quite blah during February.  My mood was deteriorating.  I was taking out my grumpiness on others.  I just didn’t feel good…

March rolled around and brought warmer temps and sunshine.  And my mood began to improve, as I got outside more and continued taking my supplements, eating organic, using paraben-free skincare products, and exercising.

I say this because even when you are trying to manage menopause, endometriosis, anxiety, wobbles, grief…  Well, there will be “good days” and “bad days.”  Be kind to yourself, fabulous one.  It’s okay to struggle.  I mean, we are coming up on the one-year anniversary of an ongoing pandemic.  It’s okay to feel a bit out of sorts.  It’s okay to wonder and question and take a moment to feel the sadness, the pain, the worry, the weight…

Because feeling the feels is also part of managing menopause, chronic illness, anxiety, and grief.

Just remember that you are not alone!  You can comment here on the blog, join the conversation on Not So Mommy… Facebook or Instagram, and/or email me directly.  I never want anyone to feel alone on this journey.

So many hugs, fellow warrior.

So.  Many.  HUGS…

When you buy…

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Click to shop…

Fabulous one, if you decide to buy one of the products I mentioned, I’d be so grateful if you’d purchase it using my affiliate link (either from this blog post or The Not So Mommy… Shop for Health & Wellness). 

I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, which helps me maintain this site and continue to fulfill the Not So Mommy… Purpose.

Is there a product you’d like me to review?

If you have a product that you would like me to considering reviewing, please contact me with the following information:  Your Full Name & Email Address; Name of the Product; URL Address (if applicable); and a Brief Description of the Product.  (Submission does not guarantee a review, but all will be considered.)

Fabulous one, do you have strategies for managing menopause, chronic illness, anxiety, and/or grief?  If you feel comfortable, please tell us about it in the comments.
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2 comments

Holly March 10, 2021 - 4:28 pm

Brandi, do you still earn if I click on a product and then add it to my amazon “subscribe and save” or do I need to do a one time purchase for you to earn?

Reply
Brandi Lytle March 10, 2021 - 4:42 pm

That is an excellent question, Holly! To be honest, I didn’t know the answer. So, I did a bit of research…

It looks like “any product purchased through a subscription” is “disqualified.” So, I think you’ll need to do a one time purchase for me to earn.

Again, THANK YOU so much for taking the time to ask this question! I truly appreciate your support! HUGS…

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