Perimenopause symptoms and signs are being written about more and more in the press and media. That sounds like a good thing as the more midlife women understand about perimenopause and menopause the better.
But unfortunately very often the symptoms and signs described are characteristic of our diminishing menstrual cycle during menopause not of our changing menstrual cycle in perimenopause. And that’s a problem because perimenopause actually starts kicking in, in our late thirties, a good decade before most us start hitting full menopause.
The downside of this is that lots of women in their late thirties and early forties never imagine the strange symptoms they are experiencing could be perimenopause because they are still having regular periods or very commonly having heavier and slightly more frequent periods.
But these perimenopause symptoms are actually a very useful warning sign of the changes to come and give us a chance to make lifestyle and nutritional changes early that can dramatically improve our immediate wellbeing and late experience of menopause.
So if you’re in your late 30s or early 40s, watch out for the early perimenopause symptoms and signs I’ve listed for you below, so you can get ahead of the change and as importantly stay healthy in early perimenopause.
Staying Healthy in Perimenopause
Responding to very early perimenopause symptoms is incredibly important for many women because some of these symptoms are signs of significant decline in our immune system and increased vulnerability to chronic auto immune conditions such as arthritis.
So do check out the list below of key perimenopause symptoms and signs. You may find the strange – and sometimes distressing – symptoms you’re experiencing right now are actually perimenopause symptoms even though you’re only in you’re late thirties and a long way from full menopause.
To help you access the information on perimenopause most relevant to you, I have divided the perimenopause symptoms between:
- Menstrual cycle changes during perimenopause
- Perimenopause & inflammation
- Perimenopause & mental health
- Perimenopause & body image
- Other weird perimenopause symptoms
Knowing that you’re not alone in these symptoms – and not totally losing it – can actually be helpful in itself. The more we talk about the reality of early perimenopause symptoms rather than confusing them with menopause the better for all of us but fortunately once we’ve identified these symptoms for what they are, there are simple nutritional and lifestyle changes and simple natural perimenopause remedies we can adopt to help manage hormone imbalance in our menstrual cycle during perimenopause and prepare for the next stage of our life.
I do hope these notes help. I would love to hear your thoughts.
But please remember I am not a doctor and this post does not provide qualified medical advice. If you have any unusual or unexplained medical symptoms at any stage of your life you should always see a doctor.
1. Menstrual Cycle Changes During Perimenopause
- Heavier periods : heavier periods are very common during early perimenopause and in some cases they can become so much heavier it’s distressing and debilitating because we need to go to the loo at least every hour to change sanitary protection. Many women find they have to double up their protection with tampons or a menstrual cup plus sanitary towels or period pants.
- More frequent periods : another common symptom of perimenopause is more frequent periods. Your regular 4 week cycle may switch to a 3 week cycle and in some cases you may have a period every fortnight with all the PMS and period symptoms and challenges that go with that.
- Anaemia : anaemia is a significant risk for menstruating girls and women all the way through our life but heavier, more frequent periods in our early forties puts many women at increased risk of anaemia. If you have heavy and / or frequent periods it is worth getting tested.
- Extreme fatigue : without getting tested for iron deficiency we won’t know if we are anaemic or not but we will know we’re extremely, extremely tired to the point we long for bed and struggle to get through the day. This can be very hard to cope with but can often be significantly improved by dealing with underlying anaemia.
- Poor immunity : anaemia and other nutritional deficiencies arising from heavier and more frequent periods can really undermine our immune system and leave us vulnerable to severe infections and conditions such as pneumonia. So it is important to get tested and to feed our immune system.
2. Perimenopause & Inflammation
- Inflammation in glands : you may find lumps in your glands in your armpits, crotch and neck during perimenopause. Obviously, these can be symptoms of other serious conditions, so you should always consult a doctor but they may be relieved by addressing underlying hormone imbalances triggered by perimenopause.
- Bloating and swollen joints : some women also have bloating and swollen joint symptoms in perimenopause as a result of hormone imbalance causing fluid retention. Again you should seek medical attention for these symptoms.
- Sinusitis & sinus infections : this is a strange one but you may find yourself getting repeated bouts of sinusitis and resultant sinus infections at certain points of your menstrual cycle during perimenopause. Again addressing the underlying unbalances in our bodies is the long term answer but these simple sinus relief remedies can help in the short term.
- Migraines : the onset of acute migraines can be a very distressing symptom of perimenopause. Learning about natural headache remedies is important to reduce dependency on pain killers but again the only real way to address severe migraines during perimenopause is to sort out the underlying nutritional deficiencies and hormone imbalances.
3. Perimenopause & Mental Health
- Overwhelming anxiety : we express our general anxiety in very different ways but you may find it becomes overwhelming during perimenopause. Knowing that you’re not alone helps but some women – I was one of them – find we need to make quite significant changes to our lifestyle during perimenopause to manage the anxiety.
- Flashes of anger : other women find they struggle with explosive bouts of anger at some stages of perimenopause. It can put pressure on family and work relationships.
- Panic attacks : both anxiety and anger can escalate into panic attacks but its worth knowing that palpitations are a symptom of perimenopause for some women. They can be very frightening, and we should always seek medical attention for them but it can be helpful to know that these physical and emotional symptoms can have different triggers that may need addressing separately.
4. Perimenopause & Body Image
- Acne : acne in our forties!! Really!!! Yep, I am sorry to say hormone imbalance can bring us out in spots just like it did when we were teens.
- Deepening voice : for some women a deepening voice in their late thirties can be one of their first symptoms of perimenopause. Some women love it but for others it can be very challenging.
- Facial hair : this is more typically a late perimenopause symptom as full menopause gets under way but for some women it start right at the beginning of perimenopause and can be distressing.
5. Other Weird Perimenopause Symptoms
Perimenopause symptoms really do come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and in some cases are downright weird:
- Morning sickness : who knew? Those horrible symptoms of morning sickness & nausea can actually reappear in perimenopause!!
- Metallic taste : alternatively you may experience a strange metallic taste in your mouth which doesn’t make you nauseous but does put you off some of your favourite meals.
Our experiences of perimenopause obviously vary greatly but hopefully this list of perimenopause symptoms will help you know that you’re not alone in these sometimes distressing changes and to start adopting the natural perimenopause remedies that will relieve them.
For more simple tips on relieving other common conditions do check out these posts :
- Natural Remedies For Headaches
- Natural Remedies For Stomach Pain
- Natural Remedies For UTI
- How To Restore Gut Health
- How To Relieve Allergies
- How To Sleep Better
Original image source : rawpixel.com