Signs of perimenopause

Symptoms relating to the menopause (the perimenopause) can start up to 10 years before periods eventually stop.

  • Infrequent or absent periods
    — periods get less frequent and are lighter
    — its been over a year since the last one
  • Very heavy prolonged irregular periods
    — a period arrives unexpectedly and lasts for 2 weeks
    — the bleeding is heavier than you have ever had
  • Hot flushes and nightsweats
    — you go red and start sweating without any warning
    — you are the woman with the shortsleeved blouse on the train in the snow
    — the bedsheets are wet and you feel clammy then chilly at night in bed
    — your partner has more bedclothes
  • Urinary symptoms
    — going more often
    — not being able to hold on when you do need to go
    — leaking urine when you cough or sneeze
  • Anxiety and social phobia
    — panic attacks
    — palpitations
    — no interest in life and having fun
    — unable to feel happy when others are
  • Mood swings
    — one minute an angel, next the devil incarnate
  • Sleep disturbance
    — disturbed sleep even if not overly hot
  • Poor memory
    — lists and endless trips upstairs
  • Headaches
    — more severe and more frequent
  • Vaginal dryness
    — even if you are in the mood and foreplay is great
  • Decreased libido
    — you’d rather read a book
  • Weight gain
    — metabolism slows
    — poor sleep and anxiety fuel overeating
    — the diet that worked before simply doesn't
    — theres only so much exercise you can do and it doesn't seem to help
    — poor sleep and anxiety fuel overeating
  • Loss of breast fullness
    — the ski slope gets worse
  • Loss of fat in the labia
    — it becomes painful to ride a horse, or to go a long distance on a bike
    — the inner labia protrude
  • Joint pains
    — especially if you aren’t fit
    — hips, back and knees
  • Change in body shape
    — wider waist
    — increased tummy fat
  • Skin changes
    — dry skin and wrinkles
    — acne
    — contact allergies
    — crawling sensations or itching in the skin
    — burning tongue
  • Hair changes
    — thinning hair
    — loss of body hair
    — the tweezers are in overdrive - more facial fluff and a mini moustache
  • Nail changes
    — nails become brittle and grooved