35 Symptoms of Perimenopause
35 symptoms have been identified and associated with perimenopause. Not every woman is going to experience all of these symptoms, nor the same intensity or duration. Everyone’s experience is unique.
Here they are but they are no particular order of significance.
- Hot flashes, hot flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
- Irregular heart beat
- Mood swings, sudden tears
- Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
- Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
- Loss of libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Crashing fatigue
- Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
- Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
- Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
- Disturbing memory lapses
- Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
- Itchy, crawly skin
- Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- Headache change: increase or decrease
- Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
- Sudden bouts of bloat
- Exacerbation of existing conditions
- Increase in allergies
- Weight gain
- Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
- Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
- Changes in body odor
- Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
- Tingling in the extremities
- Gum problems, increased bleeding
- Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
- Osteoporosis (after several years)
- Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
- Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, ‘whooshing,’ buzzing etc.
During perimenopause, fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels can trigger a myriad of uncomfortable symptoms.
Perimenopause is the time of change leading up to actual menopause-the normal biological event that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, lasts about 4 to 5 years, and is commonly associated with a shift from regular to irregular menstrual cycles prior to stopping completely.
Symptoms associated with menopause may also occur during this transitional period.
Forgetfulness and foggy thinking, mental confusion and mood swings are hallmark symptoms for many women; as are hot flashes and night sweats, tearfulness, unwanted weight gain, thyroid problems and declining interest in sex, no matter how much we love our partner. Of course not all women experience all these symptoms—as individuals we each have our very own biochemistry—but it is common to experience some degree of discomfort during the menopausal years. And the degree to which we experience discomfort is likely to be associated with the degree to which our hormones are out of balance.
PeriMenopause is not a disease but a natural phase in every woman’s life. Your symptoms will not last forever, which is why I believe a more natural approach (rather than the conventional hormone replacement therapy) is the best approach to lessen some of the uncomfortable symptoms of perimenopause.