Perimenopause and it’s symptoms can suck it!!

I have written about Perimenopause before.  Looking back over my posts I have written about it twice.  Once in October 2012, and again n October 2013.  Not sure whey October seems to be the month to write about it, other than all this crap started the week of my birthday the year I turned 46, so maybe my birthday month (October) triggers something.  Not sure.  But I suppose if that is true than writing about it today makes me a month early.  And for those of you who may be squeamish I will warn you in advance that this article is filled with details about mine and other women’s bodily functions, so if it is TMI, I apologize in advance.

Perimenopause is a bitch.  Truly.  For any woman dealing with it, and that can be ANY woman in the mid to late 30’s until actual Menopause sets in, the time (which is often years) is full of unpleasant, and even painful or embarrassing situations.

I told someone recently that every month that I get my cycle I rejoice because that means I still have enough female hormones to induce a menstrual cycle.  However, while doing research about perimenopause what I have found is that I was dead wrong.  In fact some scientists believe that  perimenopausal women have an increase in Estrogen and a decrease in Progesterone, which is what causes us to have increased symptoms of bloating, cramping and breast tenderness. These scientists also believe that FSH is a major culprit in causing a change to our cycles from a regular 15 days to 10 days plus or minus 4 days.

GREAT!  So instead of being able to plan (somewhat) and count the days between cycles now we have a shortened cycle and can be on either side of our “due date” by 4 days.  Are you kidding me?

These symptoms are also noted to happen to perimenopausal women:

New heavy and/or longer menstrual flow (yep)

• Shorter menstrual cycle lengths (≤ 25 days) ( so now we have to carry feminine hygiene products ALL the time because we NEVER know when we might start bleeding)

• New sore, swollen, and/or lumpy breasts (This has definitely happened to me to the point where it hurts to even work out)

• New or increased menstrual cramps (I know this is TMI, but now I start cramping days before I start my cycle…..YAY)

• New mid-sleep wakening (this has not happened to me, but I do wake up in the middle of the night sweating….)

• Onset of night sweats, especially around flow (see above comment.  This can even happen in wintertime)

• New or markedly increased migraine headaches ( This has not happened to me, but I do have friends who have noted an increase in their migraines as they have entered their 40’s)

• New or increased premenstrual mood swings (Ummm, I have always been a bit moody. However, since I turned 46 I definitely cry more often and want to cut people more frequently…. not sure if that is perimenopause or just lack of tolerance for stupid people. )

• Notable weight gain without changes in exercise or food intake (That has been my ENTIRE life, so nothing new there)

Image from : www.rottenecards.com

Image from : www.rottenecards.com

I mean honestly, is this fair in any sense of the word?  We have to deal with these symptoms, and more I wager. For my own experience I have the lovely experience of having cramps for days before I even have a cycle and wish I would just start already so I can stop having the cramps and bloating.  Also, I never know exactly when I am going to have a cycle.  I will be “regular” (meaning a cycle every 28 days) for three or four months, then I will have two cycles in one month, then I will go back to “regular”.

I never know how long my bleeding will last.  Some months it is 4 days, some months it is 7 days, some months it is 10 days. And according to these scientists and doctors this shift from pre-menstrual (meaning normal 28 day cycle every month). And my gosh, (super TMI) the bleeding can be so heavy at times!  Seriously, the flow can be so heavy you think you are bleeding out.  And then, you realize nope, it is just my stupid perimenopause.  (well that is what I think anyway, not sure what other women my age call it)

I know my peers are experiencing these symptoms and others.  I know because we sometimes talk about it.  I don’t know why it is not a more open discussion.  Why don’t we talk about these things more?  I mean seriously come on, these symptoms affect EVERY woman at some point in her life. Even if you have a surgical removal of organs you will have a “surgical” menopause.  Karol had a hysterectomy due to cervical cancer and removal of one ovary and she still has symptoms.  One of my BFF’s only has one ovary and she has symptoms.  Since millions of women deal with this why don’t we talk about it more?  Why isn’t there more research to find treatments or ways to make these symptoms less intrusive for women?

I know part of the answer is because women’s medical issues are not as important to the medical community and researchers as medical issues affecting men. Part of the answer is because it is “impolite” to discuss these things.  It is not “nice”.  Really, that pisses me off because I can see commercials on tv for medications to help men with their erections (or lack of erection to be more correct), and that is mainstream conversation about men’s health issues as they age.  Why can’t women’s health issues about aging be a mainstream conversation?

I for one will do what I can to enlighten women and talk about these issues.  Hopefully in my very small part and my very small sphere of influence I can open a conversation that women will participate in with each other, with their health care providers, and with society as a whole so this topic becomes less taboo and more “normal”.

Women who are dealing with this I would love to hear what you are going through and whether this list is all you are dealing with or if we need to add to it.

6 responses to “Perimenopause and it’s symptoms can suck it!!

  1. OMG. Yes! The shortend time between flows. The one month heavy, next month light, the next month the damn flow lasts for 11 days. ELEVEN DAYS!!!!
    And I’m just 43. This sucks.
    I call the heat flashes “power surges”. LOL
    Ttfn
    Jenn

    • Jenn,

      Thanks for stopping by! I completely feel your pain!!! Last month I bled twice and not at all yet this month…..sigh. I know when it comes it will not be pretty…
      Love the “power surges”. I may have to adopt that!

      Good luck!!

  2. Your list of symptoms sounded almost exactly like mine. 🙂 I would add “clots the size of baby mice” and “ovulation cramps that feel like appendicitis.” I think we are about the same age – I’ll be 49 in November.

    The one thing I can say I’ve been spared is migraines, or other recurrent headaches. And I wonder if that is related to my yoga practice. I’ve been doing yoga daily for 20 years – a very mild, homegrown practice, but attended to faithfully – and have found as these symptoms pile up that doing more yoga helps.

    Except with the blood. Nothing helps with the blood.
    chacha1 recently posted..reading list: August 2014My Profile

  3. I had a lot of those issues. Then after hemorrhaging at a friends wedding, I went to the ER, and then a trip to my gyno. Let me tell you guys something– ripping my uterus out has SINGLEHANDEDLY made my life sooo MUCH better. Not even kidding. I’m 41 years old and there is really nothing more glorious than the lack of bleeding.
    NATurally Inappropriate recently posted..many lolz about fucks not givenMy Profile

  4. Yes, what a fun times this stage can be, NOT! I’m now 47 and noticed some changes starting in my mid 30s, not too bad though. The past few yrs being most obvious that major changes taking place. I started doing much reading and research, I believe in natural remedies. I began using a natural Progesterone oil in 2011. Made some other adjustments by refraining from certain makeups, lotions, laundry detergents etc I noticed positive changes, great. I find winter is worse for me. I take several supplements too, my vit D is a winter essential. Now I have two newly menstrating girls, love them very much, however I feel this has effected my entire balance, (what I did have anyway), my fatigue and brain fog are making me crazy. It’s like my good days have become far and few between the past 4 months. Makes it hard to keep up your exercise regimen and let’s face it, hard to life function. Without my progesterone oil I can’t imagine, I’d probably never get a good day, ever. Attempting for the balance becomes a major quest in life. I just want my energy back! Plus my allergies are much worse when high estrogen, so double whammy, yay raah, not. Some days I think drinking could be the answer, but the calories would be hell, so scratch that idea. Oh well, be blessed with the good days.

  5. I have found that the general term for the heavy flow of perimenopause on the internet has been dubbed “flooding.” This is a most appropriate term, imo. I don’t even bother with tampons any longer, as the clots just push their way past them like a rude teen past a little cotton granny.
    For me, so many women in my circle had complete hysterectomies in their 20’s & 30’s and seem to just want to NOT talk about it. I’ve had a glimpse of this mood and blame it on my so-close-to-actual-menopause moments in which I don’t give a flying fook what anyone else needs (even if I could help them.) I believe menopause will be rather liberating for me. Already I don’t look at little babies with that same “they’re ADORABLE” drivel. Please, get your ugly, spoilt kid outta my face. I have important things to conquer. Like world hunger and coffee time.

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