Before I received my cancer diagnosis, I kind of knew that menopause was the next big thing on the horizon.
I figured I’d add “learning about menopause” to my eventual to-do.
But then I started cancer treatment and one of the many fun parts is that it forced my body into menopause.
So, here I am. And time to read up.
First off- Menopocalypse (Amanda Thebe) is a GREAT book. I think anyone with an estrogen-based metabolism should pick it up. This is also the book inspiring this post.
Second, here is the minimum information I want you all to have as you head into your perimenopausal years:
1) “Menopause” is actually an arbitrary point in time.
It happens 12 months after your last period. On average, this occurs during your 40s or 50s.
Most of the joys (–> symptoms) of menopause are actually associated with perimenopause. Perimenopause is the runway to menopause when your hormones are starting to shift. It can start as early as 35 and lasts for 8-10 years.
You can still get your period during perimenopause and you can still become pregnant.
2) Common symptoms associated with perimenopause:
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal Dryness
- Hot Flashes
- Sleep Problems
- Batshit crazy mood changes
- Changes in breast size (in either direction)
- Short-term memory loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of sex drive or the opposite
- Bloating and flatulance
There’s stuff you can do about a lot of these!
3) Most OB-GYNs do not receive training in menopause.
If you want a gynecologist trained in management of menopause-related symptoms, there’s a directory of appropriately trained physicians at menopause.org.
If you think you’re starting to experience symptoms of menopause, it seems a good idea to find yourself a provider that knows what to do with them.
So obviously there’s a lot more to the menopause story– this is a short and sweet Cliffs Notes to put perimenopause on your radar.
At a minimum, I want for you to know WHEN you might start experiencing symptoms, WHAT those symptoms are and WHO is qualified to treat them.
And PS: you can absolutely be postpartum and perimenopausal.
Is this new-to-you information? Or, are you already in the throws of the perimenopause roller coaster? Share in the comments!
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