So, I entered my 30s aware that there would be some slight changes in store. Maybe I’ll lose my tight 20-something body, a couple of gray hairs might appear, stuff like that. Those things did happen, along with a few others. A few freakin; annoying others and I have finally put all the symptoms together and what did I get??? Peri-freakin-menopause, that’s what!
What the hell is that, you may be asking? Well it’s just a lovely nightmare that your mother never told you about because she probably never knew she had it at all.
Did you know that menopause is not just what happens in your 50s when you get hot flashes and stop getting your period? Oh no, my friends, it starts waaaay earlier… like after 30. Friggin hell!
Now, I’m so upset by this, that I can’t possibly think clearly enough to give you an accurate description of perimenopause. So I’m going to quote the Mayo Clinic here:
"Perimenopause marks the interval in which your body begins its transition into menopause. Perimenopause encompasses the years leading up to menopause — anywhere from two to eight years — plus the first year after your final period. It’s a natural part of aging that signals the ending of your reproductive years.
"Your estrogen level rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause. Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, and you begin having menstrual cycles in which you don’t ovulate. It’s only during cycles when you do ovulate that you can become pregnant.
"When perimenopause starts and how long it lasts varies. You’ll probably notice signs of impending menopause, such as menstrual irregularity, sometime in your 40s. But some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s."
Ok, so I’m 38 now and I have to admit the onset of the symptoms has set in already. I also have a close friend who’s going through the same thing. We talk about it regularly now and to me it seems a worthy subject for a blog.
Here’s a run-down of the symptoms: (I got this from womenshealth.gov)
- Changes in pattern of periods (can be shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, more or less time between periods)
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats, often followed by a chill
- Trouble sleeping through the night
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood changes, feeling crabby
- Trouble focusing, feeling mixed-up or confused
- Hair loss or thinning on your head, more hair growth on your face
I’m not going to tell you which symptoms I have. That’s none of your beeswax!
However, if anyone out there feels like sharing with the class, I might start to open up a bit more.