The funfacts of PeriMenopause

Menopause. That is something to do with hot flashes and sweating women, right? Grumpy old women? Sadly for us women, grumpy or not, the menopause transition, or the perimenopause can cause a lot more problems then just being sweaty. Just speaking for myself: I hardly ever notice a hot flash or excessive sweating. Grumpy old woman?

FunFact: The average length of perimenopause is 4 years.  For some women it lasts only a few months (oh, you girls don’t know how lucky you are!) but be advised: for some women the road to retirement of the ovaries can take 10 years. Source: WebMD

I’ll ask my hubby about the grumpy part, but since he’s still here, this can only mean I’m not grumpy enough. But there is a list of complaints that on their own wouldn’t be enough to visit a doctor for, but all together, they scream: PERIMENOPAUSE!
Here’s what I’m experiencing during my perimenopausal years:

* Lethargy
* Fatigue
* Sleep disorder

* Itchiness 
* Muscle cramps
* Memory loss
* Bloated feeling

* Easily irritated
* Mood swings
* Stiff muscles
* Palpitations
* Trouble concentrating

Palpitations
Don’t you worry about me just yet, it is not so bad. Because not all of the symptoms arise at the same Geen alcohol na de overgangtime. Except the palpitations that is, they are almost always there. And no, I’m not that casual with my health, of course I visited my general practitioner, who sent me to the cardiologist. My cardiologist has assured me that palpitations are indeed a bother, but they are NOT life threatening. He can prescribe medicine, of course. But as long as the palpitations are not too bad, he advises against medicine. Something about the cure being worse than the illness. I believe him. I’ve got a great cardiologist. For me the problem was solved when he gave the verdict non life threatening.  No alcohol, less coffee, no smoking: sometimes the answer is so simple. And every so often it is one we don’t like to hear.

General Practitioners and menopause
My GP didn’t buy my story that my symptoms could be caused by the perimenopause. I’ve got a very thorough GP, but he genuinely believes that as long as a woman is menstruating regularly, she can’t be in menopause transition.

FunFact: Perimenopause ends when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period. She is fertile until that day.

Even so, after we tested everything that could possibly be tested, even my GP consented that perimenopause could be a possibility. And he tested me for all kind of vitamins shortages, kidney function, liver, diabetes, name it and he tested it.  And if I can believe some of the stories, I may call myself very lucky with a GP who is only happy if he exhausted all other options. Some of the women are sent home with sleeping pills or worse, the advice to “deal with it”. Believe it or not, some women have a whole range of other symptoms, which don’t bother me at all. How about:

* Hot flashes
* Irregular menstruation 
* Loss of libido
* Vaginal dryness
* Loss of hair
* Dizzy spells
* Changing vocal cords
* Incontinence
* Allergies
* Changing body odor
* Depression
* Anxieties
* Panic attacks
* Chest pains
* Painful joints
* Burning tongue
* Digestion
* Painful gums
* Dry skin
* Nauseous
* Nightly sweats

See? See? That list goes on and on. And all of these things don’t bother me! Not one bit. not yet at least. Am I lucky or what? Unless….OMG…what if I’m just at the beginning and all this stuff is what’s ahead of me?! Excuse me, while I’ll bury myself under my blankets. For the next 4 years or so.

 

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