So, hands up who was thrilled to be turning 40? We might look at our older sisters, mothers, or friends and see how they complain about “it all being downhill from now”.
Like an inexplicable acceptance of middle age and all the aches, forgetfulness, loss of vitality and maybe loss of libido. The perimenopause is the period leading up to the menopause when our periods finally stop.
It often starts in our late thirties with early symptoms commonly experienced by our early forties. And it can last for years. Symptoms can be so vague and benign at the start—a missed period now and again, breasts being a little more tender than usual, or increased PMT—that you would probably never think it could be related to the menopause.
By the time you are in full-blown perimenopause, you might have just become used to just feeling, well, not yourself. If you’re lucky, your symptoms will remain mild, but the majority of women will experience some of the following at some stage during the perimenopause:
· Heart palpitations
· Heavy periods that last for weeks or that are very erratic
· Brain fog
· Food intolerances
· Itchy and a sensation of crawling underneath your skin
These are just a handful of the many issues faced by women during this significant period of time leading up to the menopause known as the perimenopause. And women often find their quality life being affected to a lesser or greater degree, often for several years.
And worst of all, they often don’t even know what is going on! They just put it down to getting old, a part of life, something to just put up with. All while trying to mind children, elderly parents, hold down a job, and go on as if nothing is wrong.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution—every woman is different and what works for one might not for another. But at least by opening up dialogue about this, women can feel understood and can actually take more control over their bodies and lives.
There are resources out there, such as books, online groups, and professionals trained in the different areas of menopause. However, women have to go and look for them and not everyone is finding them. This really needs to change. We need to talk to our children, partners, friends and open up the conversation about this significant change that women go through.
We need to remove the negative stigma attached to the menopause. We need to educate young women about this so that they are prepared to what they will be going through some day.
Hopefully by then, finding the right solution for any symptoms that might be bothering them will be readily available. Because we should not have to just accept that this is the way it is now. We should demand more for ourselves.
After all, we might live 30 or 40 years after going through menopause. With the right help and guidance, we should be living those years with vitality, rather than with a diminished quality of life.
Join our Perimenopause Facebook group here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/perimenopausespain **************************************************************