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Picture it, I’m expecting my monthly cycle and for two months, I’m having all of the PMS symptoms times 10 and nothing is happening. After a couple of appointments with my physician, I confirmed that I’m perimenopausal. Honestly, I was hoping that I was in full on menopause, but my doctor (unfortunately) assured me that I have a few more years to go.

*This is a personal post and is not intended to give any type of medical advice. Please seek out the counsel of your physician for any medical related questions.

What Is Perimenopause?

The first thing I had to understand with this diagnosis, is what exactly is perimenopause. Perimenopause is the transitional period before menopause. Your estrogen levels decrease and you start to have menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and irregular periods. Since I knew for sure that there was no chance that I was pregnant, the missing periods were a mystery to me.

Perimenopause Has Me Hot and Flashy

The hot flashes, lord, the hot flashes are absolutely brutal. This is one of the main symptoms of perimenopause and by far the most annoying. They are sneaky and for me, all consuming and often happen at the most inopportune times. Also, factor in the night sweats and I’m basically walking around with a foldable fan at all times. It’s tempting to yell out “I’m perimenopausal” when I have to break out my fan in public, but even for me, that may be extreme. Ha!

Self portrait

Other Symptoms of Perimenopause

In addition to the missed periods and hot flashes, I’ve had an array of other symptoms since I’ve officially been diagnosed. As I said, for me, perimenopause feels like PMS on steroids. The mood swings, insomnia, and forgetfulness are some of the main things that I experience.

There are times that my cycle is all over the place as well. For instance, there are times when I have a normal cycle for 3 months straight, then nothing. Then there are the times where it seems like my cycle is never ending. It’s hard and long and painful and I can’t do anything during that time except for rest. So, you can see why I was hoping and praying that I was going info full on menopause.

Read more about the symptoms of perimenopause from the Cleveland Clinic.

How Long Does Perimenopause Last?

Well, from what I understand it can vary anywhere from 5 to 10 years. Perimenopause normally starts in your 40’s, for me it was at age 45-46. According to my doctor, I have a while before I hit menopause so in the meantime, I’ll have to find ways to deal with the symptoms of perimenopause. As usual, check with your physician to discuss any options you have for dealing with perimenopause.

For the most part, I’m not at all upset that I’m perimenopausal, it’s a part of life, right? For me, it was more of an issue of acceptance of where I am in my life right now. I am a fabulous woman in my 40’s and these are the things that happen to a woman at this age. The fun part is now being able to accept and manage my symptoms while also trying not to lose my mind (haha).

As usual, these are my experiences, but if you are reading this and going through perimenopause, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Are you surprised by the symptoms? Is perimenopause easier or harder to deal with than what you expected? Let me know in the comments, and as usual, thanks for reading!

4 Comments

  1. I skipped over perimenopause, so I don’t have any helpful advice for this phase. However, when you finish menopause (a full year without a period), talk to your doctor about the pros/cons of HRT.

  2. I donโ€™t know any older women that experienced menopause, so I only have the stories of my peers. My mom had a hysterectomy. I know at least one of my friends have been peri menopausal since her late thirties. I hope to go right to menopause because the changes with my cycle in my 40โ€™s is more than enough excitement ๐Ÿซ 

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