I’ve reached the phase of over 40 life where perimenopause is a REALITY and menopause is on the HORIZON. Perimenopause is a relatively new term for me. I’ve noticed many more commercials and products focused on menopause symptoms: the phase when a woman’s menstrual period ends due to hormonal changes.
If you’re not as familiar with perimenopause, think about it as “the calm before the storm” and the storm is full menopause. You’re more likely to feel perimenopause symptoms as early as your late 30’s and early 40’s. Here’s what I’m experiencing and how I’m coping. Along the way, I’m laughing through this weird stage and working on more memes like this:
As if being a working mother and wife isn’t stressful enough, add extreme mood swings to the mix.
There are days I’m super productive and motivated. Within a moment’s notice, I could rationalize that 7 p.m. as the perfect bedtime.
My memory is worse now than it’s ever been. Writing lists help. But I also lose my lists AND I get frustrated with myself for forgetting.
Listen to your body. Pay attention to your emotions. Call your doctor or the nurse’s line at your OBGYN’s office.
My metabolism has slowed a lot. A year or two ago I could make a few dietary adjustments and lose 10 pounds. Now, this weight is holding on for dear life. An occasional Zumba class helps with my energy level, but I need more intense, regular workouts to make a difference in the scale.
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To help limit the amount of stimulants in my system, I’ve switched to cage-free eggs for breakfast, decaf coffee and organic creamer.
This summer I noticed that while I sat at my desk or watched a TV show, I experienced “my own personal summer” known as a hot flash.
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I am not a person who sweats easily, even when I’m working out. So sitting at home with the air conditioning on wouldn’t normally cause my body temperature to rise.
Hot flashes were worse when I sipped on wine because I raised my body temperature, so I cut back on the vino.
Menopause is known as the end of menstrual periods. Perimenopause can bring changes in periods before full menopause. Your period could get heavier, lighter, longer, shorter or take a brief break during perimenopause.
Talk to your doctor the changes you notice. I wasn’t as aware that my period skipped two months this summer until my period tracker app alerted me.
Speaking of body temperature, night sweats this summer made it difficult to stay comfortable at night.
I don’t think I’ve slept more than six hours straight in more than a year. Granted my husband works an evening shift and A.J. still wakes us in the middle of the night for things. But I’m typically awake from 3-5 a.m. for no BLEEPING reason. Either I’m restless or sweating.
I keep a pen and notebook on my nightstand so I can write down my to-do list for the day since I’m awake anyway!
This, by far, is the perimenopause/menopause symptom I wasn’t prepared for!
It also ruined my ability to sleep through the night.
Several nights this summer, I woke up to the kind of pain I’d had after my uterine fibroid surgery and while recovering from A.J.’s c-section delivery. Think of it as extreme menstrual cramps that keep you from walking.
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The first time the pain woke me around 4 a.m. I just stayed in bed and cried until I could muster up the will to walk to my medicine cabinet for ibuprofen. Walking was the worst because somehow the lower belly pain was also causing sharp pains to shoot down my legs. I took four pills and prayed for the pain to subside.
After a few months of this, I visited my gynecologist and feared that I’d need a hysterectomy.
What my doctor told me: the uterine fibroids I’ve had for years are degenerating (or dying) because my hormone levels are changing. As they die, they cause excruciating pain. One glimmer of hope, each painful episode has been shorter and responded well to ibuprofen.
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#Ad Right after the emotional high of celebrating my 46th birthday, I noticed something different. I started having hot flashes and night sweats. Days were hard because I’d have a hot flash at any time. Nights were hard to stay asleep. If you see me smiling like I am in this post, know that it can change in a moment’s notice due to the biological changes going on in my life. I’m not alone. Neither are you. I knew I had to do something to cope with these perimenopause symptoms. So, it’s the perfect time to tell you about @EQUELLEofficial. It’s a naturally derived* supplement clinically shown to help alleviate the frequency of some of the symptoms I’m experiencing, like hot flashes and muscle aches. † Join me in telling your own menopause story here on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Use #LiveHotStayCool so you can follow other women on their journey, and check out the website in my bio, which is full of stories from women from all over! *Equelle contains an active ingredient, S-equol, that is a plant-based naturally derived compound. †This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.