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Symptoms relating to the menopause (the perimenopause) can start up to 10 years before periods eventually stop. Here are a list of the more common issues…

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