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What is Perimenopause and Why Should I Care?

If you're a woman in your 30s or 40s, you may think you don't need to worry about the Menopause just yet.

You've got loads of time before you even need to think about it, right?

Image of woman looking through binoculars with thought bubble saying "Is that the menopause?"

Why should you care about the menopause?

Every ovulating woman will go through the menopause at some point in their life.

While ultimately the menopause means an end to your period (whoop), there's actually a vast array of symptoms that often accompany it. Far more than the infamous "Hot Flush".

Some women can navigate this phase relatively easily, while others can suffer with debilitating symptoms.

Whatever your age it's important to understand this phase and the potential effect on your life.

While the average age in the UK is 51, you can go through the menopause at any age and perimenopause can last for YEARS up until this point.

I'm nearly 40 so statistically have another 11 joyful years of menstruation ahead of me 🥳

From a personal perspective, I've always been ignorant to my hormones. I've historically been very even throughout the month, little to no PMS and I can count on 1 hand how many people I've cried in front of.

In the last few years however, since having my daughter 2yrs ago, I've noticed a massive shift in my hormones.

Symptoms I've experienced in the last few years are on this list of symptoms. While I'm not diagnosing myself as menopausal, I now know that it's all related to fluctuating hormones.

Perimenopause Symptoms

Menopause & Perimenopause symptoms can often be the same.

Peri means 'around' so some people have perimenopausal symptoms some 5-6 years before their menopause.

Lots of people think they can’t be menopausal because they are still having their periods but sometimes periods can be the very last thing.

Symptoms can include:

  • Changes to your period

  • Hot flushes

  • Night sweats

  • Mood changes

  • Fatigue and poor sleep

  • Brain fog

  • Lack of sexual desire

  • Joint pains & muscle aches

  • Hair & skin changes

  • Worsening migraines

  • Vaginal & urinary symptoms

So ladies, if something starts to feel a bit off, you're not feeling yourself or you have any of the attached symptoms, don't be afraid to speak to your GP. Or anyone! You never know who else is struggling until you start talking.

There's a big conversation about menopause happening right now so use it as an opportunity to learn, talk to others and be prepared. You're not alone and you're not crazy.

Further reading:

Dr Lousie Newson | @menopause_doctor | Balance