35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

Portrait of a Perimenopausal Woman about photo of me flexing my bicep

Maybe my portrait is at odds with the list of symptoms. Maybe not. Mostly been feeling irritable. Sick of being irritable. Sick of having to warn my husband that I’m in a bad mood. Ready for menopause. Ready for this interminable period of transition to end.

From Healthline.com

  • Hot flashes, hot flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings, sudden tears
  • Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
  • Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
  • Loss of libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Crashing fatigue
  • Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
  • Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
  • Disturbing memory lapses
  • Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
  • Itchy, crawly skin
  • Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
  • Increased tension in muscles
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache change: increase or decrease
  • Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
  • Sudden bouts of bloat
  • Depression
  • Exacerbation of existing conditions
  • Increase in allergies
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
  • Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
  • Changes in body odor
  • Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Gum problems, increased bleeding
  • Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  • Osteoporosis (after several years)
  • Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
  • Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, ‘whooshing,’ buzzing etc.

via 35 Symptoms of Perimenopause.

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43 thoughts on “35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

  1. OH Kitt,
    I use to long for Menopause. Or at least the end of my periods. Which started 3 months into my 10TH year. Yes, I started my period when I was 10.
    I won’t go into details (at least not many)
    I suffered terrible cramps etc…..
    I had my first Hotflash…in Church of all places… when I was 32.
    I turned 50 and shortly thereafter my fairly Normal “Bitchy” moods were suddenly off the charts.
    I officially was menopausal by 53.
    I am 56 and I am having my worse symptoms yet, most of the ones you listed.
    Poor Danny. He never knows what mood I will be in from one moment to the next.
    Hot flashes are TERRIBLE and ALL DAY and Night. And the ITCHY all over is embarrassing,
    You have my prayers,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie May 22, 2015 / 6:02 am

    When I was perimenopausal I longed to be done with it all. Now that I am, I can tell you that menopause brings problems of its own. It turns out just about every system in your body needs estrogen to function properly, hence the long and varied list of symptoms. All I’m saying is don’t be too quick to wish away what little estrogen you have left.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thetattootourist May 15, 2015 / 6:33 am

    feels a little strange “liking” something like this – but it is such a useful…and humbling list. Thank you. I got about a B- Should I be pleased? hmmmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 15, 2015 / 12:37 pm

      I didn’t realize there was a grading system. I think it just helps to normalize our experience of change. It can be challenging to differentiate mental health issues from hormonal issues since hormones affect our mental and physical health.

      Like

    • Tracy Leone May 16, 2015 / 1:04 am

      Shoot, Kitt, I thought all those signs were just my bipolar, anxiety, crohn’s, disc disease, cholesterol, lol. Maybe being in Florida humidity I didn’t realize were hot flashes. I’m being slightly sarcastic lol. Truth is, last year my body said, yep, I’m done and now you are officially ‘post’ menopausal. Then I turn around in August and doc says, oh, by the way, you have uterine cancer. Surgery in September, all is well, and absolutely not one female part left. I’m scared to get involved with a man cuz I don’t want to tell him, oh, by the way, we might have some trouble in the intimacy area lol. Oh, also, Kitt, get ready, gravity all of a sudden drops everything down 2-3″. Yay, lucky us. Mentally, it’s difficult, much harder than I expected. I look in the mirror and don’t recognize my body. But … I’m alive, sane, for the most part healthy, and keeping a positive attitude! Any other way of looking at it simply isn’t an option for me! Thanks for sharing and letting me share. (If you don’t approve my comment, I wouldn’t blame you in the least lol).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kitt O'Malley May 16, 2015 / 4:34 pm

        I have absolutely no problem with your comment. That’s what this post is about – changes that come with aging. Your sense of humor is an excellent coping mechanism. No doubt having uterine cancer was scary. Glad that all is well. Not glad to hear that it will affect intimacy. I guess you’ll have to be “creative.” Being alive, sane (stable), and now healthy is key. Most of all, I find your positive attitude refreshing. Thank you for that!

        Liked by 1 person

          • Kitt O'Malley May 16, 2015 / 4:39 pm

            That need is totally normal. I mean, they even advertise on TV, so you know vaginal dryness (and thinning) is common.

            Like

      • Julie May 22, 2015 / 5:57 am

        Thank God your doctor caught it early, Tracy. My sister ignored her symptoms because she thought were just due to peri-menopause whackedoutness. As a result, she has been battling metastasized uterine cancer hard for the last six years.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley May 22, 2015 / 10:44 am

          That’s scary. I am so sorry that your sister is battling uterine cancer that has metastasized. I hope that the latest advances in cancer treatment can keep her as healthy as possible. My mother has lived with non-Hodgkins lymphoma for over 30 years, but that is a slower growing cancer. Her cancer at one point in time was in her spleen, liver, and bone marrow. Thank God for monoclonal antibody therapy (now FDA-approved as Rituxan). She was part of the initial and subsequent clinical trials.

          Like

          • Julie May 22, 2015 / 12:34 pm

            That’s wonderful and encouraging news about your mom. Thanks for sharing it. Things aren’t looking good for my sister right now – the doctors are amazed she has lived this long – but with God there is always HOPE.

            Like

            • Kitt O'Malley May 23, 2015 / 10:19 am

              Yes, with God there is always hope. I pray that a miracle happens. The human spirit (God works through and with us) can be amazing. Having a fighting spirit can really help. My mother does not believe in prognoses, for they can become self-fulfilling prophesies. If doctors tell a patient that they will die, then they expect to die and give up. My mother is a fighter. No doubt your sister is, as well, and that and her faith could very well be reasons she is still alive.

              Like

              • Julie May 23, 2015 / 10:38 am

                Thank you so much, Kitt. Yes, my sister has remained amazingly positive through it all. She told the doctors from the beginning that she did not want to know her prognosis. There is a lot of wisdom in that.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. Style Domination May 14, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    Oh my. I had no idea. This is really informative. I also had no idea it lasted up to 5 years!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lori Nichols May 14, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    Yea, I am going my peri menopause with several or less symptoms. I can’t eat food with spicy or I get hot flashes. I watch what I eat so I won’t get hot flashes. I am monitoring myself. Passing five years and still on it. My friend said watch what you eat and doing exercises and meditation ( quiet)
    Hope I go to POST- menopause soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 14, 2015 / 5:59 pm

      Me, too, Lori. I should be doing exercises and meditation more. Annoying, isn’t it? Send you my love.

      Like

  6. bpnurse May 14, 2015 / 9:25 am

    You have my sympathies. I was lucky and went through it in my 40s, and have been postmenopausal since age 48. It took about 5 years. Here’s hoping you get through yours soon…..it’s SO liberating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 14, 2015 / 5:58 pm

      Perimenopause seems to be taking forever for me. I thought I was entering menopause for good, then BAM – nope. Look forward to menopause. Thank you for affirming my belief that it will be liberating.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bpnurse May 14, 2015 / 7:20 pm

        It’s wonderful!! No more carrying feminine products everywhere you go, no more flooding accidents, no more dealing with the mess and never knowing when you’ll “start”—or when you’ll stop. I wish you a quick transition!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley May 14, 2015 / 7:50 pm

          It hasn’t been quick. I keep thinking that I’m approaching the finish line, and then I’m taken by surprise.

          Like

          • bpnurse May 14, 2015 / 8:17 pm

            Well, I hope it goes quickly from here on out. You’re not using BC pills are you? Those can keep the cycles going. FWIW, I’ve had the occasional episode of post-menopausal bleeding over the years, but I’ve been checked out and doctors have said that happens once in awhile.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 14, 2015 / 5:54 pm

      Thank you. Brought a smile to my face. I love musicals. Too bad we can’t break out in sing and dance like they did in those classical musicals.

      Liked by 1 person

      • vanbytheriver May 14, 2015 / 6:08 pm

        In a strange, distorted way, that song came into my mind while reading your symptom list. But, I do enjoy being a girl ! ☺

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley May 14, 2015 / 7:38 pm

          Without a doubt, it somehow both contradicts and confirms the post. Very dialectical.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. e May 14, 2015 / 6:35 am

    I think about you all the time. Especially when the weather acts up. I loves this AND your pic. It’s courageous as far as I’m concerned. Just like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Zoe May 14, 2015 / 1:26 am

    Dear God. This is all too much. You have to deal with the other stuff and then this too? Sending tons of strength your way. Right into that arm.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bipolar1Blog May 13, 2015 / 7:06 pm

    Ugh! I’ve been through menopause, officially post menopausal last July. The mood symptoms were, of course, very difficult to distinguish from the bipolar symptoms. Didn’t have many other ones, except hot flashes, which continue to this day… Menarche, menstruation, menopause, yukh, yukh, yukh. Too much change, too much fluctuation, I would like some stability please. Maybe now, in menopause, that’s when we’ll get some stability. Good luck to you and hope it goes by quickly and easily!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 14, 2015 / 5:37 pm

      Trying to distinguish what is bipolar and what is perimenopause is challenging. My pdoc doesn’t medicate my perimenopause. The mood fluctuations are “normal” for this seemingly unending period of my life. I cannot stand it and very much look forward to menopause. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • stockdalewolfe May 14, 2015 / 8:20 pm

        Well, only a few things are better after perimenopause… no more periods and pre-menstrual symptoms including irritability and lessening of psychosis. I found menopause was tough. Lots of same symptoms and new delights. Each stage has its challenges but my pdoc thinks the mental illness improves.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. MRS N, the Author May 13, 2015 / 7:03 pm

    Isn’t it fun? The worst are the hot flashes for me. Although, since I’m sweating a lot, I lose a few pounds and get to eat ice cream more. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 14, 2015 / 5:35 pm

      I haven’t gotten the hot flashes yet. Mostly experiencing irritability and irregular periods going from light and infrequent to extremely painful and heavy.

      Liked by 1 person

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