Perimenopause Is Normal
Some Signs You May See With Perimenopause
Over the past few years I’ve been in the depths of mothering teen-aged daughters, helping them to navigate changing hormones and bodies. At the same time, my own body was starting to go through some hormonal changes.
Even as someone who is pretty in-tune with her body, the changes were so subtle and seemingly disconnected, it has taken me several years to see that they are all connected.
- I gained some extra weight, specifically in my mid-section, BUT I had completely changed my workout habits so it wasn’t totally unexplained weight gain.
- I started to have more issues with stress incontinence, something I’ve struggled with since the birth of my oldest daughter, BUT I figured it was to be expected with less time spent working on core strength and extra weight in my mid-section.
- I started to have lots more problems with extra dry skin during the winter months, BUT we had moved into an old house with plaster walls and lots of woodwork making the air much drier than our old house.
- I started to notice an increase in facial hair, BUT I come from a long line of hairy Italian women.
- I started experiencing some heart palpitations, BUT I had recently gone through an unexpected period of stress in my personal life. (And a cardiologist confirmed through a stress test my heart was working just fine!)
- I started to experience frequent intimate area itchiness that after several visits to medical providers could not be tied to any specific cause such as a yeast or bacterial infection.
It wasn’t until I started to notice changes in my menstrual cycle such as heavier flow days and unexplained mid-cycle spotting that I started to connect ALL the dots and started to do some reading on perimenopause. Honestly I wasn’t prepared to start experiencing these early stages of menopause in my early 40s, I mean I knew people “my age” who were still having babies!!! But there is no denying that at 45, my body has started the slow hormonal shift that can take OVER A DECADE for some people! Who knew? Not this girl!!!
Dr. Christaine Northrup was one of the first women’s health experts that I started reading 20 years ago when I was preparing to start a family, and I love that I can again turn to her wisdom as I enter this new stage of womanhood. Her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom has been one I have pulled from my bookshelf time and time again through the years. I love this article from her website addressing perimenopause, including how it can be a time of growth and discovery for many women. I find so much I can personally connect to in her words, having pursued a new career as a 40-something year old, and knowing I am far from done growing and learning as an individual. I’m excited to see what goodness awaits me in this next state of womanhood, chin hairs and all!
Article link: https://www.drnorthrup.com/perimenopause-transition/