The Mysterious Disappearance of Menstruation

Peeing in the bushes

Candid shot of me peeing in the bushes while on a hike. Thanks, kid.

My period has mysteriously disappeared. After years of getting it every 28 days, it’s now 19 days late. And thanks to my husband’s successful vasectomy five years ago, I know that I’m not pregnant.

I didn’t care when my period didn’t come that first week because I was traveling across the country. And having your period when you travel can be a pain. Especially when you’re doing a 10 mile hike and have to stop and pee behind very short bushes.

But now that it’s been over two weeks and there’s still no sign of getting my period, I’m becoming a little bummed out. Every time I look down at my underwear, I find myself looking for signs of it. A little spotting, a small drop of blood when I wipe. Nothing. But I’m afraid to wear white.

And I hate to say this but I miss it. I kind of miss the cramps. That feeling that I was getting rid of unwanted things from my body. The shared bitching about hormonal changes with my teen daughter. The excuse to not have sex.

I realize that I’m almost 50. And I’ve been having symptoms of perimenopause for a while. But I thought that the process of ceasing menstruation would be more gradual. First, my friend would start coming every 35 days. Then every 42 days. And so on.

I’m starting to think that this might be it. And I’ll have to move all of my pads and tampons in to my daughter’s bathroom. No more counting the days on my calendar since my last period to see when I’m going to have it. Or bringing a period pack on trips. Worrying about soiling the hotel sheets like I did that time at a fancy place and was embarrassed when it ended up looking like someone had been massacred there.

I feel like I haven’t had a chance to say goodbye to the shedding of my endometrial lining. We’ve been going through this monthly exercise together for so long. Since I was 13. It’s like losing a friend. If my period never comes back, I’m going to have a kind of themed going away party for it. Sangria. Zucchini noodles with marinara sauce. Some red velvet cupcakes. Play pin the tail on the uterus with maxi-pads.

Maybe this isn’t the end. I’m a little crampy today. But it could just be my imagination. And wishful thinking.


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Feature image via TimeWas/Etsy

12 thoughts on “The Mysterious Disappearance of Menstruation

  1. I wouldn’t give away the tampons just yet. I’m 50 and my period has slowed down to once every three or four months but hasn’t gone away altogether.
    All the best x

  2. The period is quite the drama queen. Sometimes you think it is gone and then she comes back 6 mos later. You are not officially in menopause until you have been without a period for 12 consecutive months. The key word here is consecutive! So if you get a period after 7 months the clock starts over. So, keep those tampons…until you graduate to menopause!

    • Thanks for that info Ellen! And I love the characterization of the period being a drama queen. Perfect!

  3. Love Ellen’s “Drama Queen” title; mine certainly was, bringing cramps so bad I spent several days walking doubled over, showing up whenever she felt like it, and leaving her mark on every linen she cozied up to.

    But menstruation? I’m with arena. When I chose to have a hysterectomy at 42, an effort to stabilize my body chemistry, I felt a short period (pun intended!) of separation from my uterus, but Aunt Flo or “The Man with the little red suitcase” as I called it, was given good riddance!
    Get baking, Honey, and enjoy your farewell party when the time comes!

    • Thanks Annah! I’m always up for a good party. And I love this phrase, “leaving her mark on every linen she cozied up to.”

  4. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this or not, but vasectomies fail. They fail with far greater frequency than anyone thinks. If you don’t menstruate within the next week or so, it might be worth your while to pick up a pregnancy test. You know, just in case.

  5. Really? 19 days late and you think “this is it?” Honey, this is just the beginning of “it”.

  6. Wow, I never thought I’d find another woman who shared my almost exact experience! The popular thought is that we’ll all be happy when periods stop. Not the case with me. They just disappeared at 48 and I was bummed, sort of a loss of youth I guess. Oh well, on to other things!!

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