Hello my beautiful women of the world! June marks my 40th birthday; happy perimenopause to me! Roughly six months ago I had no idea what my body was doing to me. It wasn’t until I missed my first period that it dawned on me. What is this mid life crisis? Not that I wasn’t looking forward to menopause but I had no idea what perimenopause even entailed. Or that it would sneak upon me so suddenly. Turns out I’m not the only one. Signs and symptoms happen in your 30’s. Some don’t know what they’re going through until their womanly instincts kick in and mother nature says, I’m here…..welcome!!! Rise, shine and cheers to the new you! Hot flashes were the least of my problems. It was the constant lower pain and pelvic inflammation that really killed me. You reach menopause when you haven’t had a period in 12 months.
Signs You’re Going Through Perimenopause
I’d wake up with sharp pains in my groin. Both left and right. I couldn’t lay on my left side ( the side I favor because of my bad right leg ) and when I tried to lie on my back it was too complicated. Loss of sleep was nothing abnormal for me. Sleep deprived for over 20 years and although I was forcing myself to get well rested, I started waking again just recently. I’d receive about 3 hours and wake. Now the troublesome part is that I’m having difficulty getting back to sleep. It used to be about 45 mins and I’d clonk back out. I’m up for hours now. Still using all of these ways to relieve stress naturally.
Taking each day entirely at a different approach. My young mind constantly kept saying I could do all the exercises I’ve done in the past to lose the excess weight. I blamed the gallbladder removal and Doug’s cooking on that. In the past 4 years I’ve gained about 35 pounds. Again, it never dawned on me that perimenopause existed in your 30’s. A new outlook on my adult life for sure! I’m not writing this post to sound at all like I’m not happy. I am. I’ve waited my entire life to experience my 40’s!! And I’m in tears writing this because I’ve lived a hard one. I’m so READY to begin my new life!!! I deserve this and so do you, my friend.
Understanding Menopause Transition Symptoms
- Pain, Body Aches– I wanted to announce this first as a symptom because every article I have read about the signs and symptoms of perimenopause fails to mention this important change. For me, my pelvic area hurt all of the time, the groin area was intense. It felt like something, something big ( not a baby because I’ve had a tubal for nearly 16 years and that was impossible ) was going to plop out at any given moment. Nothing came. Just more pain. From the lower back and around to down where the greater saphenous vein was. I placed frozen peas on my upper thigh daily. Elevated my legs and stopped doing my squats. Did I mention I pulled muscles because hello, I’m not young anymore. I cannot do the same movements I used to know and love!!! They just don’t work. And I’ve come to accept that.
- Missed Periods– As I mentioned, I had a tubal ligation almost 16 years ago and my partner cannot have children, so the whole I MIGHT BE PREGNANT thing was out! Not to mention the lack or desire to have intercourse anymore. It just fades instantly. My period always shows up on the first of every month, faithfully. Except the last one was a little different. It was normal at first but lasted a few days longer than the typical 3 days. It stopped and appeared again a few days later. Nothing heavy, just showed up. That lasted a few more days. And then it just never showed up again! I thought for sure it was just a couple days late but when I talk about the next symptom you’ll understand what made me realize I was perimenopause.
Knowledge Is Power
- Vaginal Dryness– I’ve never been one to dry up. It just became noticeably different 6 months ago. I stopped having the natural urge to have an orgasm and that was odd for me. Weeks went by and then I thought something was wrong with my health. Ovarian cancer, pelvic pain, all the things that could go wrong with my woman parts did. I wasn’t sure if I was going to die or naturally conquer this battle. I have yet to try any recommended remedies but the more I get into the transition myself, I will be using more lubricants.
- Bloating– You heard me right. That extra 35 pounds on a 5 foot 3 inch gal can do some major damage. No matter what, I could not understand for the life of me why I was full blown looking 6 months preggo. I just didn’t put 2 + 2 together. Sure enough I thought it was again the gallbladder removal I had about 3 years ago. It was, in fact me experiencing perimenopause. It’s constant. I just recently started a diuretic because I’m so inflamed and retain too much water. It’s helping. I take one after breakfast every morning.
Perimenopause And Transitioning Life Post Menopause
I wanted everything in this article to be positive and uplifting because it truly is a beautiful transition to go through! My surgeon said that I tolerate pain extremely well. Tell me why I couldn’t go through labor without an epidural then. After my gallbladder was removed I was shaking so badly that the night nurse was pissed that the other nurses failed to give me any pain medicine. I went a full shift being ignored because they said it was a baby procedure and obviously my body thought otherwise. Pain can be tolerated to some extent. I stopped taking otc anti-inflammatory drugs because there’s so many long term unhealthy effects. Now I just attempt all natural treatments like heating pad, ice, hot showers, cold showers, slow walks, drinking more water and breathing. Breathing properly does wonders.
Perimenopause Signs and Symptoms
- Hot Flashes– I didn’t experience this until recently in a grocery store. Getting really hot and flushed in the face and neck. My chest was on fire. Not to be dramatic but I had to take deep breaths at the register and the girl probably thought I had Covid-19. My teenage daughter kept asking if I was alright. I started mildly shaking and grabbed every drink available at the checkout. I’m lucky enough to say that I haven’t had them a lot. But who’s counting. They happen. Just breathe.
- Forgetfulness– I’m certainly one to remember things but now I’m forgetting what I was just told to get at the grocery store. Small lists no more. Text that shit to me! And then I pull it up repeatedly as I walk through the store. Oh, I forgot this. And that. What was I going to post. I kid you not, the pen and paper are always at my hip now. Unreal.
Yes, there is the light. After reading so much about perimenopause and learning that menopause only lasts one day, post menopausal life can and will be significantly lovely! It’s just getting through these rough patches that we get to finally breathe some sanity! Understanding our bodies is key to an active, healthy lifestyle moving forward. I focus on wellness with our clients all of the time and look forward to when my vagina doesn’t feel raw anymore. I mean, I cannot even wipe after going pee because it feels like sandpaper. Just pat. Pat dry.
Loving Life Post Menopause
- Exhaustion– Yawning at 2pm was never a concern. Now I am extremely tired without doing anything. I don’t clean like I used to, limit activities and barely leave the house. Since I am a full blown coffee addict I thought maybe I was drinking too much caffeine and suffering crash. But that wasn’t the case when I actually counted the cups I was having per day. My limit was 3 and occasionally I would have another caffeine drink to hold me over until dinner because that’s always been my ‘curb appetite’ secret. Three cups a day now was nothing compared to my early 30’s.
- The Shakes– Out of nowhere I would start little trembling. Nothing dramatic but it’s the same feeling you get when you are starving and need to eat but not even hungry. So your body temp increases and you start shaking until you eat a small meal and relax your nerves. Paying attention is the most important thing. When I feel this creeping up on me, I stop what I am doing, sit down, breathe, drink and eat something. Like what the heck?! This is definitely something I have to monitor.
What Can I Do To Improve My Lifestyle
The signs and symptoms of Perimenopause goes on and on. From weakness to tiredness, lack of desire, no sex and constant pain…..it’s like a ton of bricks hit you and hit you hard! It comes out of nowhere for the most part, especially if you are still on the younger side. I didn’t even expect to start thinking about menopause until my late 40’s. Here I am turning 40 this month, and I’ve already experienced enough to know that this is real. It’s something that you cannot ignore. Changing habits helps immensely. I am constantly learning about my body, who I am, who I want to be and looking to the future. It excites me because I do have high hopes and ventures that I want to explore. Freshening up your YOU game is a constant battle. I’m learning more and more that selfishness is not an act of ‘being selfish’ rather caring more for yourself because you are far too important to neglect.
Ways To Embrace Menopause
It is encouraging to know that this all gets so much better. Your life will be incredibly different, perhaps even better than ever before! What a change. Fancy the extra flub, purchase bigger sizes than usual (wearing loose clothing feels so good), style your hair differently.
- Apply more moisture to your skin – invigorating and scrubbing off those dead skin cells before hopping in the shower makes you feel on top of the world.
- Drink more water – I know it’s hard for me too, but we’re in this together and it helps with the bloating so much.
- Limit your phone usage – I love this because I have indeed stepped away from certain apps and I feel so much better about myself and who I am. There’s a whole ‘nother world out there.
- Educate – Read and learn as much about post menopause and peri because it’s important to know what your body is going through. Some say don’t Google, but I say the more you know, the more you learn to live with it.
- Talk to your doctor – I like to do everything as natural as possible but talk to your doctor about your concerns. A lot of them recommend anti-depressants but that’s not for me. Doesn’t mean it’s not for you. You may find that it helps greatly. Don’t be ashamed. Share your concerns. Your well being is important.
- Grasp nature now more than ever – I’ve always been a nature gal but something about it when you get older makes you appreciate the earth even more. Bring it indoors often.
- Take vitamins
- Use the lube
- Go for long walks
- Minimize your belongings. Start fresh and do something new.
Our lives are not over…..In fact, they’re just beginning.