• Tania Elfersy

Do our wombs move at midlife?


When everything feels crazy out there, at least we can understand more about what’s going on inside.

I discovered my womb is moving and yours might be too.

My path to discovery started on the floor of my son's bedroom. I got stuck there when a sharp spasm of pain sped through my lower back as I attempted to pick up a pile of school books.

Only by falling to my hands and knees, wiggling into a yoga cat pose and then gently arching and curving my back, was I able to release some of the pain and stand up.

I walked strangely for a few days, spent more time stretching as a yoga cat and soon I was back to normal. Except that two weeks later, the spasm of pain returned to my lower back and this time I decided to seek help.

The second back spasm happened the day before my period. The first back spasm happened around the time of ovulation. I suspected there was a connection to my hormones, especially since I’d only ever suffered from lower back pain while pregnant.

“Of course there’s a connection to your hormones,” my osteopath told me as she gently realigned my back. “What you have is very common among women in their late 40s. Your womb is moving, after all.”

“How’s it moving?” I asked, amused, immediately recalling the ancient Greek understanding of hysteria – derived from hystera, the Greek word for womb. (The ancient Greeks thought hysteria was a disease of the wondering womb, which if not held in place through sex and pregnancy, was suspected of traveling around the body, even up to the brain, causing disorders and disease.)

“It’s shrinking,” my osteopath answered. “And since everything is pretty packed down there, when your womb shrinks, even by a tiny fraction of its size, everything is going to move with it and this can affect your spine.”

Fascinating.

I went home and opened my computer.

How common is lower back pain during perimenopause?

65% of early perimenopausal women (defined as women who’ve had an irregular period in the past three months – that’s me) had experienced lower back pain in the two weeks prior to being surveyed.

That is common!

So how, you may ask, is this connected to our bodies’ brilliance and our bodies acting out of love at midlife?

Well, let’s consider modern life.

Or more specifically, the level of physical activity in my modern life.