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Perimenopause Symptoms

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A little refresher for you newbies.

Did you know that menopause is not just what happens in your 50s when you get hot flashes and stop getting your period? Oh no, my friends, it starts waaaay earlier… like after 30. Friggin hell!

Now, I’m so upset by this, that I can’t possibly think clearly enough to give you an accurate description of perimenopause. So I’m going to quote the Mayo Clinic here:

“Perimenopause marks the interval in which your body begins its transition into menopause. Perimenopause encompasses the years leading up to menopause — anywhere from two to eight years — plus the first year after your final period. It’s a natural part of aging that signals the ending of your reproductive years.

Your estrogen level rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause. Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, and you begin having menstrual cycles in which you don’t ovulate. It’s only during cycles when you do ovulate that you can become pregnant.

When perimenopause starts and how long it lasts varies. You’ll probably notice signs of impending menopause, such as menstrual irregularity, sometime in your 40s. But some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s.”

Ok, so I’m 38 now and I have to admit the onset of the symptoms has set in already. I also have a close friend who’s going through the same thing. We talk about it regularly now and to me it seems a worthy subject for a blog.

Here’s a run-down of the symptoms: (I got this from

* Changes in pattern of periods (can be shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, more or less time between periods)
* Hot flashes
* Night sweats, often followed by a chill
* Trouble sleeping through the night
* Vaginal dryness
* Mood changes, feeling crabby
* Trouble focusing, feeling mixed-up or confused
* Hair loss or thinning on your head, more hair growth on your face

I’m not going to tell you which symptoms I have. That’s none of your beeswax!
However, if anyone out there feels like sharing with the class, I might start to open up a bit more.

Sara Purves
Sara attended the Claude Watson School for the Arts, a prestigious Toronto based high school for gifted creative students. She then moved on to the Ontario College of Art and Design for 4 years where she majored in Environmental Design. After graduation in 1993, Sara pursued many creative arenas including: retail store design, fashion design, had gallery exhibitions of her paintings, and volunteered in many areas of the arts before settling into a career in graphic design. Sara was employed as art director and graphic designer at several well known advertising agencies and creative design shops where she worked with a variety of clients. Sara is also someone who’s unwillingly entered early perimenopause and muddles her way through frustrations and solutions.

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