Common, but lesser-known symptoms of Perimenopause
Have you noticed a lot of little changes in the way your body feels, how you look, the thoughts you have, your default emotions, the way you sleep, the amount you pee, and the amount you bleed during your period…? A collection of small changes could be your body signalling to you that it is preparing to make shifts into Perimenopause.
You may have noticed that the word Perimenopause has had a prominent airing of late. What is the Perimenopause period and why is it so important in your Menopause journey?
The word ‘Menopause’ has been the term used for the midlife transition of women for donkey’s years. However, Menopause isn’t actually the transition period. Perimenopause is.
Menopause is, in reality, only one day in your life – marking 12 months since your last period. That’s it. ONE DAY! Everything that comes before it is better known as Perimenopause. And everything that comes after this day is known as Post-menopause.
With this in mind, the most obvious sign that you may be heading towards Menopause would be a change in your menstrual cycles. If Menopause marks 12 continuous months of no periods, then you will notice that your periods start to drop off.
BUT… it’s not that simple! The process of the changes leading up to the 12 months of no periods may take between 5-10 years. You may experience missing a couple of months of periods, and then get a bleed next month. This means that your 12-month timer of no periods begins all over again – remember that the 12 months have to be continuous.
Of the many women I have spoken to, the common assumption that they have reached menopause is signalled by an absence of periods and Hot Flushes that come leaping out from nowhere. Perimenopause however has a plethora of symptoms, all linked to the changing hormones, that you may be suffering, without knowing you are transitioning.
If you are just waiting for the hot flushes and no periods, you may be missing out on recognising important symptoms that could provide you with a great opportunity to help you form a healthier plan of support through this stage of your life.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
What have I been missing and what should I be looking out for?
There will be different symptoms related to different stages through Perimenopause as your hormone levels change.
Early symptoms of Perimenopause will have a different presentation to late Perimenopause, due to the dominance of oestrogen as the progesterone levels begin to drop. Early symptoms of Perimenopause include:
- more frequent periods = shorter cycles
- heavier menstrual flow
- rage / flying off the handle at simple things
- breast tenderness or swelling
- weight gain
Whilst later symptoms of Perimenopause, as oestrogen levels drop, may include:
- irregular periods
- emotional fragility
- poor memory
- brain fog/mental fuzziness
- joint pain
- low libido
- insomnia or mid-sleep waking / trouble getting to sleep / waking early
- vaginal dryness / painful sex
- dry skin and eyes
- thinning hair
- a leaky or overactive bladder
- low bone density
- night sweats / hot flushes
You may have experienced some of these symptoms without knowing that these are linked to your hormonal changes. When you put all the pieces together and take action from a place of empowerment, you can form a healthier plan to support yourself.
How Can I Help You?
Getting in the flow of the new you takes a multi-system approach in your lifestyle, working with your body’s structure, physiology and emotional shifts. Your changing hormones will have repercussions on the other systems of your body and supporting your whole health and the potential changes (and shifts it requires to support you properly), is paramount.
At My Bodyworks, Nat works with a multi-disciplinary approach to help:
- understand where your body is at
- relieve joint and muscle aches and pains
- heal and rehabilitate post-surgery
- improve your stability, mobility, strength and balance
- improve your pelvic floor function
- restore a positive mindset and support your emotional health
- support stress management to calm the nervous system and anxiety
- improve energy, sleep and cognitive function