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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{ 1195 comments… read them below or add one }

AmyM. May 30, 2015 at 10:27 am

Is it possible for perimenopause to start in your mid 20’s? I have experienced nearly all of these symptoms during the past two years. I have been absolutely miserable. I am almost 28 now and have been experiencing very disturbing vertigo for nearly three months. My doctors have run all kinds of tests the past couple years and at first suspected an autoimmune condition but have never been able to confirm that. I was on bc pills for about three months a year ago and I found that my night sweats, hot flashes and cold chills were at their worst while on it. How do they determine if you are experiencing perimenopause?


Yasha June 24, 2015 at 9:43 am

Have you seen your doctor. I have also been tested for everything under the sun. I am being treated for many of these symptoms individually. I’m going to schedule an appointment with my PCP. Good luck!


Estelle June 27, 2015 at 8:47 am

Hi , I am 48 and have all the symptoms. I feel awful, gas pains in the upper right side, burping, hip pain, joint pain, heaviness on my chest. Has my fish checked in November and it was elevated. I have been like this for years now. Thought I was going crazy and am tired of always complaining. The pains are there, headaches the past year that I never suffered with before. pelvic pain, feel like I am getting me period all the time, but it doesn’t come just the symptoms come. Anxiety awful. I am taking all the supplements needed but refuse to go on hormones. Thanks for this blog, it makes me feel am not alone. Estelle


Christine June 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm

I am 27 and having almost the exact same experience! Not vertigo specifically but tons of hot flashes, night sweats, absent period, intense mood swings, ect. Unfortunately I do not have a definitive answer for you but I have done a ton of research and I think it is largely a product of our modern lifestyle. Synthetic hormones from birth control do not get filtered out of drinking water so there is that. Also a million other things that impact hormonal balance such as EMF’s, pollution, toxins in food, ect. I went off BC a few years ago, started eating mostly organic and whole foods and use natural progesterone cream. Also, acupuncture made a huge positive impact if you are able to go. None of these have cured my symptoms 100%, but they are much more manageable when I stay on track. I hope in your case it is something more easily treatable, but from what I have read unfortunately a lot more women our age and younger are going to be experiencing these symptoms. Keep us posted if you learn more!


Linda May 30, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Hi Ladies! It’s reassuring to know that you’re not alone- not that I am happy we are all experiencing these symptoms. I’m 53 years old and started menopause about 2 years ago. It’s as if a switch went off. I’ve been to the emergency room about 3 times now: racing heart, chest pains which at times I confuse with nagging breast pain. EVERYTHING turns out to be normal- Every scan, x-ray, and blood work. However, I’m hoping someone else can give me feedback- I have this extremely weird brainfog feeling, and then I get as if I’m going to pass out. It’s not a dizzy feeling, but an unusual lightheadedness that feels as though a fuse is going out. I never pass out, though. (thank God) I’ve felt it on and off ever since I’ve gone into menopause. After 2 years I was assured if something was wrong, it would have manifested itself by now. All tests, again, negative. PLEASE let me know that I am not alone! Thanks! Hopefully, this too, shall pass. Oh the joys of womanhood!


Fran June 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm

I know what you’re going through I too had to go to the emergency room and I felt like I was a crazy person. I got confused its like I was a different person and that is not how I am not at all they thought well maybe you’re having a stroke. they did a brain scan they did blood work they did Katzkin they did every kind of test in the world and everything came back great. that my doctor put me on some medication. I finally went to a woman gynecologist that made all the difference in the world. she knew what to put me on and I’ve only been on it for a couple of days but I feel so much better. trust me a man this doesn’t know what US women go through you need a woman to help you through this good luck I’m praying for you


Stephany Roberts June 25, 2015 at 11:26 am

hi …i have jst looked at all 35 symptoms and ive suffered with 27 of yhem
its the worst time of my life and really affecti g
my life ..im 54 years old and a hospital worker in the uk
ots comforting to know im not alone though …..stephany x


Lisa May 31, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Im so thankful for finding this site. The list….what a life saver. I just turned 49 and have been having a lot of the symptoms for about a year. Most prominent and concerning was the tingling on the left side. My arm/foot is constantly feeling like its going to sleep and tingling. Often feels heavy and very achy. Have chest pain too. Been in to the dr thinking it was heart related being on the left side but everything came back “normal”. Im constantly worrying about it and thinking the worse. What if this time it is the heart and not the same thing as before. Anxiety level through the roof..worse right before trying to go to sleep. I feel as though the drs dont know enough about perimenopause to offer solutions to these symptoms. Even my OBGYN has kind of lessened my concerns. Very frustrating. Any remedies anyone can suggest to lessen the feelings?


kay May 31, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Thankyou everyone for making me feel less alone.I have had a horrible time with fibroids over several years and had an embolisation two years ago.This made the bleeding less severe. Thought I couldn’t ever feel any worse and then menapause.Im shattered most of the time with really bad leg pains . I’ve just missed my first period but feel like im still having one.My belly is so bloated and very painfull.I keep thinking theres something seriously wrong with me .Im 49 by the way.

Help ive phoned in ill for tomorrow as I work in a childrens nursery and its very physical and im so bloated I can’t bend .The cramps are bad too. Kay


Rosie June 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Hang in there Kay. I too have had fibroids and extreme bloating for years, ugh. I often feel 4 months pregnant. I have a Mirena IUD to help control heavy bleeding, but am so entirely sick of the hormonal fluctuations- up, down, up, down, down, down, down, up…!

I feel like I am 13 again…only with a job, a house, a husband, aging parents, bills, oh yeah…and teenagers. A sense of humor and a support system is a must.



Yasha June 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

I’m also on Mirena but only for birth control. I don’t bleed but I have the other symptoms of my cycle.

I’m about to turn 36 next month and have had symptoms since I was at least 32. I feel crazy for being so young dealing with this.


kellee June 1, 2015 at 9:30 pm

I have just finished diagnosing myself and of course I think I have ovarian cancer. Ive been feeling bad and getting worse for 4wks. I have menstral cramps,nausea, tender breasts, lower back pain, shoulder pain, burping , so so bloated, so tired,depressed.
Of course ive had alot of weight gain past year, with all the emotional junk. Ive excercised past 5weeks really hard no results. Really discouraged, I dont eat alot , and I eat pretty clean. My gums past few days sore. Could this be menopause? Im 53, had ablasion done few years ago,
Im worried something worse.


Tammy June 5, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I am 53. Have started symptoms within the last 9 mos. Anxiety was awful. Stressed easily, feeling at time overwhelmed. Now that has seem to have gotten better only to now have back pain and cramps, bloating. Ugh! No fun.


Leigh S. June 10, 2015 at 8:24 pm

For those of you who have experienced chest pain, can you please describe what you are/were feeling? Thanks.


Debbie June 15, 2015 at 6:33 pm

It makes my heart hurt and feels like a heart attack. It hurts so bad I cry and run to take a nerve pill. I can’t handle anything when I feel like this. How do you feel?


Leigh S. June 17, 2015 at 11:33 am

Hi Debbie,

I actually now am having issues with acid reflux. I feel like there is something stuck in my chest. But then I will also get a dull sort of pain feeling, no sharp pains. I get so nervous that my heart feels like it is beating out of my chest. Actually going to see my Internal Medicine doc because I have been so uncomfortable lately. Just so stressed that there is something worse going on and that definitely does not help.


Linda June 10, 2015 at 8:54 pm

Hello ladies I just turned 50 and wow perimenopause has hit me like a ton of bricks. Not only has it kicked up my anxiety but constantly hot all the time, periods out of whack, menstrual migraines, loss of appetite, or I’ll eat like crazy, hair loss, loss of sex drive, list goes on. I’m glad I found this blog helps so many of us. Does anyone else go through this?


Debbie June 15, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Wow, you sound just like me. God bless you. I don’t know how long I can live like this. I am 43 and have a bad thyroid and now this. I know just what you are feeling.
Do you know if there is anything the doctors can give us to help. I feel crazy.


Adelle June 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Hi Debbie, I too have thryoid trouble (Graves’ disease). I haven’t felt myself since I’ve been diagnosed. I’m 41 and six years on have gained weight , hair loss , mood swings , the list goes on and on.


Yasha June 24, 2015 at 9:59 am

Yes. I just shaved my head, my back is killing me, the gas is killing my fiance, I can’t open bottles or jars, I’m already on depression and anxiety meds, I’m easily angred (freaking mood swings). But, at least you all are past 43, I’m 36 next month.


Susane June 11, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Good morning Ladies, I hope everyone is having a good day! While I hate that we are all going through this I am grateful for this site and the support it offers. While reading the posts I have noticed that a few of these symptoms are more bothersome in most of us. The most frustrating for me is the lightheadedness, dizziness, off balance feeling, feelings of heaviness in my arms and legs with an achy feeling. I have also developed loss of smell do to worsening allergies and a metallic taste in my mouth that no amount of teeth brushing will get rid of! Thank goodness it doesn’t last that long! I also get sudden pains in my head and ears that last about three seconds and then is gone! Let’s see what else, oh, cramping in my legs and feet, heart racing when I’m sitting still and eyesight going blurry from time to time. I could go on and on but you all know what I am talking about lol! I started all this 3 years ago at the age of 44 and while I know it won’t last forever I am grateful that we have this site and each other to get through it.


DSuzanne June 11, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Gosh Susane ME TOO, off balance feeling, light headed. At times I wake from sleep as I did this morning feeling a little off kilter heart beat was a little fast, what got me through it was turning on my favorite church channel and ice cold water. Not all Women feel off balanced or dizziness, BOY I DO. I hate it, Im turning 52 this year. Been dealing with this since I was 44. The balance feelings get terrible at times. I also get pains in my head through my sinuses and ears, I believe this time in our lives makes sinuses worse, at least for me!! My eyes get blurry a lot and worse at times then others. Can’t wait for this storm to pass!


Susane June 13, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Amen! It’s crazy how some women have symptoms that are more dominant than others and some women have all the symptoms and more! You mentioned your sinus pain and I am curious as to what kind? I get painful burning in my nose that goes all the way into my head at times and drives me absolutely insane! My dr told me on my last visit that my sinuses look like raw hamburger and I told her that they feel like they are being cooked on an open fire lol! Steroids help with that and the inner ear problems that cause the dizziness and feelings of being off balance so I get a shot every three to four months depending on how bad it gets. I cannot imagine having to get up and go to work feeling like this. Those of you who do have jobs outside the home, I just want to say that I have so much respect and admiration for all of you!


DSuzanne June 14, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Yes it is!! Some Women look at me like I’m nuts when I tell them about getting dizzy, off balanced, they’ve never had it, OR at least they say they don’t!
Yes Sinus Pain, I do have it. I get achy gums, sharp pains in my head, not to often do I have that, thank God. Feels like an ice pick stabbing my head. But, I have typical sinus pain and pressure. It does coincide with cloudy days. At least that is what I realized last week when it was cloudy, the barometric pressure adds to it, I’m sure. My cheekbones also hurt, my brow bone and around my eyeball. Typical sinuses. Which CAN and DO make me off balanced as well. Now that I am perimenopausal, its ALL worse. I am hoping to be finished with this SOONER, then later.


DSuzanne June 14, 2015 at 8:31 pm

Oh AND ear pain, not the same as an earache, just dull pain which comes and goes…


Susane June 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Yes to all of that and sometimes more lol! Some days I have fatigue so bad I can’t vacuum the floors! I have often said that there is no way on earth that God is a woman! I do not take the good days for granted anymore!


Yasha June 24, 2015 at 10:03 am

I never thought my ear pain was related to this. I’m constantly feeling like my right ear is stuffed with something and it itches or tingles.


Debbie June 15, 2015 at 6:41 pm

So doctor can’t do anything to help? That makes me so sad.


mary barker June 12, 2015 at 7:46 pm

I am 57 years old and STILL going through peri menopause. Please tell me there are other women out there that are still going through this as well. Feel like I am the only one this old and still not through it!!!!! Yikes!!!! Glad I am not the only one with the symptoms I have seen described in this column! Feeling gloom and doom with changes at work. Glad I found this web site! Thank you


Andi June 29, 2015 at 11:34 am

Hi Mary – I am the same age and have been going through irregular periods since my early 40s. I just started an intense diet with a trainer and seem to have kicked started my hormones or lack thereof, so I have constant spotting – and now the dizzy, nauseousness has begun and stays for hours – I have an appt in a couple of weeks with GYN. I’m constantly tired too. I thought I escaped it being this age and never having any issues!


Cheri June 15, 2015 at 10:20 am

Luckily, I found a doctor who was familiar with hormones. Although I had to pay for it out of pocket, her suspicions for a hormonal imbalance was right. I was lacking progesterone at certain times during my period and it was causing a bunch of symptoms. I will be starting my 3rd cycle of natural (no synthetics) progresterone and have already seen some changes from the first 2 as far as my cramps, bleeding, and mood swings go.


Debbie June 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

I am 43 and have thyroid problems bad but started feeling so bad that I was thing it had to be perimenopause. I have almost all of the symptoms ….. I cry, have bad panic attacks, Hair coming out …..so much! My doctor is doing a test but said it could go on a long time and will not tell me when I will go though menopause. Is there sometime she can give me to help. It’s so bad I can’t live my life.


Linda June 17, 2015 at 6:48 pm

I am 55 and have just missed my first period for the last two months. Have always had normal right on time periods. Had my first child at 35 and second at 42. Is this the beginning of perimenopause or am I at the end of menopause. Sure hope it’s the end!!!!
Thanks for any feedback:)


Stephanie Thompson June 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Thank you so much for starting this blog. I have experiencing some of the symptoms listed above. Especially the anxiety, feelings of doom, hot flashes etc. This has been difficult for me because I had a partial hysterectomy several years ago so I don’t have periods so trying to tell if I am going through perimenopause has not been easy. I am 46 and it seems like it just started all of a sudden and to top it off I started a new job. Just reading the comments helps me feel comfort and some normalcy. Thank you everyone.


Leigh S. June 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Is there any natural supplement/vitamin that can help with anxiety/depression?


DSuzanne June 23, 2015 at 5:37 pm

B Vitamins, I take B100 Complex and 5000 mcg of B12.


Dawn June 23, 2015 at 2:46 am

I just found this site as I was asking if you feel like your crazy when going thru premenopausal stages I have had the other symptoms ,hot flashes night sweats mood swings but this crazy feeling is really getting to me I have been a diabetic for 28 years type1 and I know things go down hill after so long even if you have good control so I was so worried and scared it had something to do with my diabetes but as all of you have had test and can’t find anything. Is there any type of medication that can help me through this it is just almost more than I can handle. I have not had a period in 5 are 6 months and on and off before then I am 53 with a Sr. In high school and would love to have a great year with her before she goes off to collage,someone please help……..



Sandra June 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Yes ladies I’m feeling I’ll too. I had emblization to shrink my fibroids in 2014 an stopped getting my period a year later. Sore nipple, unpleasant smell, loss of sleep, moody, picky, light head, fast heart beat, hot flashes and no sex drive. I even have developed a pain in my side that feel like appendix gonna bust. My poor husband just doesn’t get it. He still wants to go out and drink and eat. I feel like crap. Went to ER and had all test run and nothing major. I was thinking cancer but my blood work came back good. Ladies you are not alone. I no your not suppose to drink but a glass if wine or 3 helps me from going insane. I have a teenager an I’m picking on her. All I can do is pray that the symptoms go away soon. I’m 48


Ana June 27, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Hello ladies,
So happy I found this site. I’m 53 years old and during the last six months perimenopause has hit me like a ton of bricks. It started with night sweats and chills almost every night. For the last month or two I have been having bouts of fatigue that seem to hit especially hard the week before I would have my period. I’ve also gone from being a mellow person typically to suffering frequent bouts of anxiety and panic attacks. When the peri symptoms started, I was totally convinced something was terribly wrong with my body and I was seriously sick. Can’t remember the last time I’ve had a full night’s sleep, usually either can’t fall asleep or wake up after a couple of hours and can’t fall back asleep.
Rather than hot flashes, I seem to be having cold flashes where I get really cold (especially my hands and feet) all of a sudden. I’m also dealing with nausea, especially in the mornings.
I’ve just started on B12 and B6 tablets. Appointment with my gyno in two weeks.
Wishing everyone strength and grace to get through this trying time.


Michele July 1, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Hi I’m 48, not feeling well on a monthly schedule still. Use to have a 7 day normal cramping cycle. Today it feels like my ovarys are on fire, gushing floods clumps coming out, its so disgusting. Very very painful on my left side under my breast feeding all the way down to my leg. I have cold sweets and dizziness , mostly unbalanced at times. Is this preminopause pause or menipausal starting? I really have no idea, I am still having a period?


Leigh S. July 4, 2015 at 12:26 am

I hate that I feel old at 42, that it feels like every other moment some part of my body hurts/aches and that I get so panicked and have such anxiety over all of this. I hate that I am so scared I won’t make it through the night.


Magnolia May 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm


I understand what you’re trying to say when you compare your wife’s mood swings to manic swings. However, can I please suggest that you back away from clinical mental diagnostic tools to describe women in perimenopause?

We are not mentally ill. Perimenopause is not a mental condition. Yes, it does cause mood swings and affect changes in our behavior. But, we are NOT mentally ill or suffering from psychosis in any form.

I say that because women are CONSTANTLY being treated as if they are mentally ill when all they are suffering from is the effects of hormone imbalance. Their body systems are out of balance. Not their mind. And for you to appeal to us to “take it easy on our husbands” tells me that you think we have some capacity to control it or something.

We can’t. I’m sorry to tell you that. But, we simply can’t. Maybe YOU should take it easy on your wife and not compare her to clinically diagnosed mental patients?

I do understand you want to help. And I respect that you are here seeking information so you CAN help her. But, please sir, lose the language of the DSM if you really want to help your wife.



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