You would think, at the age of 52, that I'd be done having conversations about menstruation. Sure, as a mother of a daughter, you'd expect one or two motherly discussions with her, but I never expected to still be talking to my girlfriends about our monthlies.
Monthlies, Auntie Flow, red tide ... did you know according to an international survey there are more than 5000 slang terms for menstruation ... I think I might pick up the Danish phrase "Der Er Kommunister i Lysthuset" which translates as "There are communists in the funhouse", for it seems there's something quite oppressive about having periods at this stage of life.
It's not like I'm going to fall pregnant (you'd actually have to be having sex for a start), but at 50-plus the chances of a woman falling pregnant naturally is only 1 per cent.
So I ask you, Mother Nature, why on earth am I still cursed by the curse?
I came off the contraceptive pill four years ago, after a 20-odd year run that coincided with my marriage. My GP advised me to, suggesting that I may well already be menopausal, let's just see what happens, she said.
What's happened is that I've been having regular periods ever since. Heavy but short, with cramping, even while I'm ovulating (if scientifically that's still happening), mood swings, surges in libido, did I mention mood swings?
I never thought I'd be longing for menopause, but bleeding without any purpose is just a bit pointless.
We talk about menstruation, chin hair, hair loss and weight gain ... about libidos, or lack thereof, drying skin and sleeplessness.
I guess, in some way, if I'm feeling very optimistic, my body is telling me I am still a luscious, viable woman who still has a place in this world.
But I want to feel like that after Auntie Flow has packed her bags and gone home for good too.
And from the conversations with my girlfriends, and let me warn you there isn't a lot middle-aged woman won't talk about, especially after a wine, they feel the same way. Menopause is a beginning, not an end.
We're all at a stage where our children are independent for the best part, we have more time, more confidence. It's like our bodies are giving us one last hurrah or something.
We're aching to have more sex, with our husbands even, we can hold conversations with ease, we're still active and vital.
We're succeeding at work, without all the strains of a young family, some are indeed keen to pick up extra responsibilities or even change careers.
And while as teenagers we may have hidden the fact we were bleeding each month, now our bodily functions are a topic of conversation as we navigate our way through the change.
We talk about menstruation, and chin hair, about hair loss and weight gain. We talk about libidos, or lack thereof, we talk of drying skin and sleeplessness.
We talk about the new research that links menopause and Alzheimer's disease.
But the best thing is we're talking about it.
I never would have thought menopause would be a rite of passage.
Menarche, pregnancy, birth, are all about the gaining of something. Does menopause mean loss? Of fertility, desirability, beauty, attention?
When Germaine Greer first wrote about the change in 1994, menopause was a word of fear. In 2018 she updated the book, launching a clear and necessary protest against the notion that women should shrink into the background as they grow older.
She argues that menopause marks the point in a woman's life when she should stop apologising and bask in the freedom and joy that come with her later years.
Sometimes a change is as good as a holiday.
I've been fascinated by the idea of period-proof underwear for a while now. I've mainly used sanitary napkins during my life. I think it's because the first tampons I ever used were those ones with the weird applicators and I couldn't get them to work. Too much information I know. But not having to deal with either is an intriguing idea.
The good folk at Modibodi sent me a pair of briefs to try, along with some activewear 3/4 leggings.
The secret is in the layered crutch. The top layer wicks away moisture, the middle layers absorbs up to 20ml of fluid, the bottom layer is waterproof to stop any leaks.
There are four different linings for different purposes and an ever-expanding range of products from briefs, to swimsuits, to activewear, a maternity range that includes a singlet to absorb leaking breast milk and a range for teens called Red promoting a great message.
I'll admit I had to get over a mental roadblock of not using products and just pulling on the pants but wearing them I quickly forgot I was even on a period.
I was also worried about how "moist" the crutch might feel but this wasn't a problem either. They were comfortable and gave full protection.
I could see myself wearing them regularly, particularly overnight. No more spotting on sheets.
The leggings too were great, as light leakage is a problem when exercising (even sneezing let's be honest). These will get a good workout too.
When you think of the number of sanitary products you use over a lifetime an investment in garments such as Modibodi makes great sense. For the planet, your pocket and your period.
I'll be purchasing some for sure.