For the past few years, I’ve been playing the blame game and blaming everything on perimenopause. It’s that long home stretch of time before you cross the finish line of monthly periods. AKA menopause, which officially begins when a woman hasn’t had a monthly cycle for 12 consecutive months. And comes with its own set of issues. According to the National Institute on Aging, the average age of menopause is 51 while the perimenopause phase can last between two to ten years.
The Change comes at the most inopportune time for some, competing with our aging bodies, aging parents, and the emotional toll of empty nest. Many of us have a hard time discerning other ailments from symptoms of perimenopause, since it can mimic other medical issues. Some of us just aren’t quite ready to cope with the reality of this final stage of life while others are cheering it on or fall somewhere in between.
Hello breast tenderness, cramping, weight gain, loss of energy, and hot flashes. Goodbye feminine products, periods, and finally fertility. The mental and physical hurdles we jump through just to reach the end game of our youth is yet another challenging course we must face.
Decisions have to be made on whether we want to deal with these changes naturally or through hormone replacement therapy or even some newer treatment plan. Whichever route you choose, just make sure to discuss all options with your doctor to find the most suitable one.
Many times perimenopause knocks on our door unannounced and we don’t even realize this strange visitor before us. Life keeps us so busy between family, work, and other obligations that we are often surprised and saddened by the visit. Well ladies…prepare yourself with knowledge, visit your doctor, eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, form a support group of friends, and ready yourself for the grueling journey into full-metal menopause!