35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

by Magnolia on September 5, 2014

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When I was in the midst of the worst of my perimenopause symptoms, I had one over-riding thought:

“I’m going crazy”

Yes, I had hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods and those gawdawful mood-swings. But without question, the underlying and most compelling emotion was that I was certain I was finally going nuts. In fact, it was my anxiety and emotional turmoil that drove me to begin blogging about perimenopause in the first place.

Like most women, I needed to talk through my anxiety and emotional angst so that I could sort through the feelings and make some sense out of what was happening to me. Perhaps that is what has brought you here as well. Maybe you’re feeling crazy too, vulnerable, not yourself, and hanging on by a very thin thread. So, before I go any further, let me say very plainly – I understand, and you are not going crazy.

It’s difficult to explain to others who have not been through it, what perimenopause feels like. It’s especially difficult to explain to our husbands who can’t begin to understand or even remotely connect to the female experience. Not only is this frustrating but it can add to the feelings of isolation and vulnerability.

The symptoms and signs of perimenopause are long and varied. You may have many or a few. There is no typical perimenopausal experience, though most women seem to have hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods and mood-swings. In fact, these four symptoms are usually what signals to women that they are in perimenopause – which, by the way are similar to Yaz birth control side effects, which you can learn about at DrugNews.

As of right now, most experts, health care providers and those devoted to understanding and helping women in perimenopause agree there are at least 35 symptoms of perimenopause. It’s not necessarily a comprehensive list but it’s certainly a good starting point.

If you have any of these symptoms and feel you may be in perimenopause see a physician or health care provider right away. The good news is we have plenty of options. Just do something. There is no reason to suffer with perimenopause if we don’t have to.

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

  • Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings, sudden tears
  • Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
  • Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
  • Loss of libido
  • Dry vagina
  • Crashing fatigue
  • Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
  • Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
  • Disturbing memory lapses
  • Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
  • Itchy, crawly skin
  • Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
  • Increased tension in muscles
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache change: increase or decrease
  • Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
  • Sudden bouts of bloat
  • Depression
  • Exacerbation of existing conditions
  • Increase in allergies
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
  • Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
  • Changes in body odor
  • Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Gum problems, increased bleeding
  • Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  • Osteoporosis (after several years)
  • Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
  • Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, ‘whooshing,’ buzzing etc.
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{ 1087 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachael April 5, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Hi all, I’m 45 and everything has gone haywire – particularly my GI tract! Has anyone else developed problems with reflux-type symptoms, chest pain and unexplained stomach pain? Ive had a gastroscopy (nothing showed) – but I’m flushing frequently, nauseated and experience extreme pain in my chest, back and sternum area every time I eat (nothing showing from blood tests either). Have lost 10 kilos in 7 months and wondering if it’s possible that this is tied to hormone changes?

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Kimberly D. April 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Yes!! Absolutely!! Everything you have mentioned!! And my anxiety is through the roof at times!! It is a wild, crazy, miserable ride!! I am so sorry you are going through this..but it is nice to know I am not alone and going crazy or dying…

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Cindy April 23, 2015 at 9:34 am

Does a gastroscopy check your gallbladder? I had very similar symptoms for years and found out I had gallstones when I was pregnant at 37. Precursors are the 4 F’s – female, fertile, forty, fat…
My mother-in-law is tiny, but in her 40’s she thought she was having a heart attack went to the hospital and found out it was a gallbladder attack.
A simple fasting sonogram will reveal gallstones if that is the cause.
Unfortunately, I still experience minor symptoms that I’m sure are related to peri menopause, now I’m just extremely uncomfortable rather than excruciatingly miserable.
Good luck!

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Christina April 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Would love to chat with someone about their symptoms….crazy how I have almost all of these symptoms…I feel a little better now and will be seeing my doctor at the end of the month.

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Susan April 12, 2015 at 11:42 am

I am so relieved to hear others are going through some of the same symptoms that I am. I’m 54 years old and still having irregular periods. The mood swings, crying, anxiety and gastrointestinal symptoms are the most difficult to deal with and can greatly affect life. We women need not be alone and can support one another, especially on sites such as these. Thanks for listening and God bless you all.

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Jeanne B. April 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

Lord have mercy, I have 23 of these symptoms. OK, so I’m NOT going nuts. I’m NOT having premonitions of doom. The bathtub is NOT about to fall through the floor when I shower (and hit “standing turbulence”), I’m just experiencing vertigo. It’s mah GD hormones!

I love being a Crone…

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Rachael April 10, 2015 at 5:21 am

That’s really illuminating – I’m experiencing the shower and bath vertigo too. I nearly collapsed at the swimming pool yesterday – simply leaving the water and coming to standing makes the whole building tilt and my vision go dark for a few seconds. Ah…joy. Also brings on hot flushes…

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jo April 12, 2015 at 2:18 am

I am hearing all of what you are saying. I am almost 49 and am also perimenopausal. Worst ever Indigestion which comes and goes ( resulting in a low appetite and weight loss). flushes ( cold and clammy ones). Aching shoulders, headaches ( which I get anyway). Crashing Fatigue, etc etc. The list goes on. Iron Deficiency Anaemia caused by a uterine polyp. Welcome to a woman’s world.

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Susane April 13, 2015 at 9:21 am

Ok, so this might be a totally stupid question but have any of you experienced loss of smell and taste? My dr seems to think it’s my sinuses because I have severe allergies and get horrible sinusitis attacks at least once a week. The loss of taste comes and goes but the loss of smell has so far been with me for awhile now. It is driving me nuts but I guess it could be worse. I am just wondering if this could be another menopausal nightmare to deal with? Thank you ladies for any insight to this.

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CrazyAuntie April 24, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Susane, I have lost quite a bit of my taste, too! Sometimes my sense of smell is diminished, and sometimes I swear I can smell from rooms away. Nice to know I am not alone in that, thank you for asking!!!

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Lisa April 14, 2015 at 1:33 am

Hello ladies,
I have read the symptoms and almost all of them apply to me. I recently turned 43 and have been going through the list for the past 2 or so years. The reason I am posting is period related. I did not have my period last month, now it is so heavy, lasting way longer and with clotting. I have never clotted before and it is freaking me out, anxiety is through the roof, really bad thoughts like I have cancer and I’m dying thoughts. Also really bad crying spurts, I feel like such a sissy baby, watching a freaking tv commercial will set me off… I have never had to change a super tampon after only 2 hours. I am also experiencing severe lower back pain, so bad that it makes me feel sick. I am just freaking out and I guess I just need reassurance that this normal and I’m not dying..

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crissy April 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Hi! I am 41 years old. Can most of these symptoms just come on suddenly?? I started having joint pain last summer, went to see an arthritis doctor and he said it was normal wear and tear….i disagree, Also over the last few months i have been noticing my heart fluttering alot more. I am on the Pill which makes my periods light, but last month it came early and was still light but lasted longer. I have also been experiencing almost constant nausea….Im just wondering how quickly symptoms can start happening??

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Kimberly D. April 15, 2015 at 6:41 pm

I experience most of these symptoms..Does anyone experience quickly getting extreme ly fatigue within minutes of doing alittle activity? Body will feel like I ran a marathon..Legs ache the worse..

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Susane April 16, 2015 at 10:25 am

Most definitely kimberly! There are some days when I don’t have to do anything to feel fatigued. My legs and arms feel weak and feel like my legs won’t support me. I also get muscle cramps in my legs and feet. It is very frustrating especially when you are dealing with other symptoms at the same time. Of course the Dr’s can’t find anything and all tests come back normal! For those women going through this and working full time outside the home, I must say that you are my heros! I cannot imagine holding down a full time job and dealing with the home and family also. There are some days when I don’t have the energy to vacuum the floor! I am told this goes away eventually so all we can do is pray for that day and keep our sense of humor!

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Dawn April 16, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Hi all. I am sorry but I could weep with pain. I desperately want another baby and the peri menopausal phase has been delayed by a baby at 40,46, and 47. Now by body has gone to bits . I am absolutely furious with my husband as he did not want a baby so made my choice, not I made it . ( this is related to personal relationship history). I honestly feel finished as being pregnant, my children are my life. Please do not judge about my feelings as I honestly can’t take it . I know God sent my children and am so blessed. Now for first time I haven’t had a period and read twenty per cent of women can just stop having periods. I can’t cope inside. Sorry for going on . I have no one to talk to about this . Love to you all . Thanks

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Christine April 18, 2015 at 12:08 am

Hi all,

While searching the internet, this web site popped up and so glad it did! I just turned 53 and have been having feelings like I’m losing it, just hanging by a tiny string, but have had other health problems in addition to the perimenopause. At the end of October of last year, I completed treatment for hepatitis C which was diagnosed in 1997. For the past 6 years before treatment, both of my hands were covered in a rash and that rash has mostly cleared after the treatment, although it left my hands severely scarred. There have been several other weird symptoms which I had hoped would resolve after clearing the hepatitis C virus also, but they haven’t. Now I’m wondering what is causing these. One of them is facial swelling and purplish rash around my eyes and cheeks (looks similar to sunburn but with swelling) that happens randomly and lasts for days to weeks. When it starts to dissipate, I then having very dry scaly thick skin that flakes off where my face was swollen, which is also leaving scars. My anxiety has been through the roof on some days and I’ve been having elevated blood pressure, fast heart rate, insomnia, night sweats, weird purpura marks on arms and chest, very dry mouth, a rash on my buttocks with almost skin breakdown, joint and muscle pain, and problems with vision lately. Also, I’ve not had a period since December. I found some of these symptoms listed above but don’t know if all of these are due to perimenopause, especially the facial rash. Would love to know if anyone else is experiencing any of these type symptoms, as I am confused as to what kind of doctor to see if this is not perimenopause. Thank you for reading.

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Paula Harvey April 19, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Hello, I just found this blog and it has made me feel “normal” and for that I thank y’all!! I was having issues with irregular periods starting about a year ago, but prior to that I developed electrical shocks in my face, which I just always felt like it was connected to a root canal, and went to a neurologist. After that I developed severe tingling in my wrist which took me to be tested for carpel tunnel. Last September I was hospitalized with divirticulitis, which was udderly crazy bc I have never had any instestinal issues my whole life. I mention ALL of this bc now I am putting two and two together and am wondering if I had been having perimenapausal symptoms without realizing it! Since the bout with divirticulitis, due to the antibiotics wiping out my gut flora, I have really suffered with depression and anxiety. I am better for sure than I was 6 months ago, but am wondering how long has any of you experienced these things, will they pass, am I going to be gobs of supplements for the rest of my life? Any input would be appreciated!

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Shelley April 19, 2015 at 7:20 pm

I am so thankful I found this site. I will be 50 in a month and it just seems as if everything has hit me at once. Last year I developed Tinnitus out of the blue, I always thought it had something to do with this. Just this year so far my knees hurt, I’m exhaused, so very forgetful which is not at all like me and my heart races. I find my emotions all over the board, doesn’t help that my kids are starting to move out. I just started having in between period spotting is this normal? It scares me because I had an abnormal pap in Jan but my doc said wait 6 months to recheck, I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with that, what do you all think?

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Micheller April 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I turned 37 in February. I am experiencing all of these symptoms except the bleeding gums, burning tongue, and osteoporosis. I feel completely alone, since I don’t have any female relatives around, did some research and found this site. Sometimes I feel out if control of my life. Hot flashes barely more embarrassing than anything because my entire face will turn red (I’m really light complected) and stay that way sometimes for up to an hour. Ironic how I can suffer from insomnia and fatigue at the same time. The dizziness and loss of libido is what really irritates me.

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Kat April 20, 2015 at 3:18 pm

So happy I found this blog – I turned 50 in September, and for the past two months, I suffer from severe CRS (Can’t Remember S*it). Seriously, I have forgotten things in my high-pressure job that I NEVER have before. Stupid mistakes. I bought Ginko to help, but I keep forgetting to take it! Depression too – for no dang reason. Life really is good. This Perimenopause, not so much!

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Ana April 22, 2015 at 11:02 am

Hello I am ana, I identify with all . I am 48 years old and I have long been feeling each one of the mentioned symptoms , this is horrible ! I have come to the point of having panic to go to sleep, I do not want to sleep anymore! . While im trying to sleep the symptoms are worse !!!!!!! Does any of you know why ? Blessings to all

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melissa April 22, 2015 at 3:28 pm

This site is a God’s sent, but I’m a bit scare and feeling something is seriously wrong with me,i havemore than half of the symptoms listed,im just 38yrs and have not seen my period for 12months, anxiety is something else,irritability,chest pain like heart attack will happen next sec,body aches,have never feel like this in my life. Is there anything like drugs that can reduce this? Is it not too early to start having all these. One moment I’m assured it’s okay, the next I felt like I’m caving in. Pls say something to me

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Magnolia April 22, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Melissa,

Yes, you are on the young side for full blown menopause. However, if you haven’t had your period for more than a year, then medically speaking, you are menopausal. I would strongly recommend that you see an endocrinologist or a very experienced gynecologist who can help you with your symptoms.

While it’s not unheard of for women to start entering menopause in their late 30s, it is a bit early for menopause. I would want to make sure that there is not some other issue which is causing hormone imbalance and keeping you from having your cycles. So please do not delay. But, also please do not panic.

It might just be that you really went into menopause very early.

Magnolia

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Dawn zellers April 23, 2015 at 9:15 pm

I’m just recently going thru this and am 42. Many family issues as well. This sucks to go thru alone. My mom has cancer and ms and needed to be in a nursing home. It’s hurting me so bad that she’s there but cannot find the help I need for her to be home. And with this stupid girl issue I’m going thru doesn’t help. . So I guess I’m saying HELP! I didn’t know that menopause happens so early. Ugh!!

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