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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{ 845 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly December 1, 2014 at 11:33 am

Does anyone have blurred vision with perimenopause. I’ve seen it mentioned if you Google it directly, but it’s not on the 35 symptoms list. I’ve had varied issues and believe I’ve been in perimenopause for about 3 or more years. Recently I stopped my birth control as I didn’t fill it fast enough and had to wait. Ever since, my vision is blurred. It’s intermittent, never the same. Some days bad, some days I don’t even notice blurred vision at all, sometimes it just shows up in the middle of the day. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Also since stopping the b/c everything hurts, muscles, joints, I sleep like crap, waking about 30 times a night, I’m HOT all the time, especially at night. I have to believe it’s because I’m not on the pill this month (actually longer) and since going off it I have not ovulated nor have I had a period. It’s been almost two months. I’m 37.

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Lisa Maree December 7, 2014 at 8:44 am

Hi Kelly. Yes blurred vision is the pits. In the last 4 years I have changed my glasses so often, it has cost me a fortune. I have 3 different pairs of glasses right now. So depending on what is going on, is what pair I ned to use. some days, I cant see out of any.,,xxxx

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TR December 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Not only do I have the blurry vision thing once in a while, but I have everything on the list. This has been a hellish 2 years and it’s not over yet. It’s like a long, slow ride to death.

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Marty December 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Kelly, I have had periods of blurred vision…on and off. It’s very concerning as it is a little scary, therefore adding to my anxiety. I have frequent muscle and joint pain also. Hang in there.
Marty

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Amy December 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I’m 38 I started having premenopause at 36 or 37. I’ve been really horny I want to know if it’s part of my premenopause. I’m spotting now. Can premenopause make/cause you to get horny?

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Gail December 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm

I haven’t had problems with my vision but I have been wearing glasses for several years. I have been feeling nervous, lonely, lost with no purpose. I’ve been through a divorce, empty nest and perimenopause within the last 2 1/2 years. Life is not good right now.

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Mindi December 9, 2014 at 12:04 am

((((hugs)))) Sorry life is so hard right now. you’re not alone!

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Ally December 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

I love this space. When I’m feeling a little overwhelmed…like now …I come back and retread things. Thanks ladies for sharing in this scary unknown where nothing feels quite right.

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olga December 6, 2014 at 3:12 am

I recently had a breast cyst drained, biopsy was done and all ok. I am 42 years old and my period has become lighter and lasts only 3 days. I have many of the symptoms mentioned with perimenopause, depression, breast tenderness, dizziness, among others.My question is though after i had the cyst drained i noticed changes on the bottom half of my body. Vaginal dryness and closer to my period i feel discomfort down there and it seem i always need to go to the toilet. Also now my other breast is in pain and very tender. I had both my breasts checked last month ultrasound and mammogram which came up all clear. Is it possible i have another cyst, so soon?

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Beth December 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Like so many of you – what a relief I feel to have found this site! I am 47 and experiencing many of the symptoms – headaches, vertigo, feeling crazy, don’t feel like myself – struggling with mental capacity (which previously was my strongest asset), emotional outbursts – crying for no real reason and becoming absolutely enraged over dumb things, and then there is the fact that I’ve had 3 periods within 5 weeks…talk about drop-dead exhausted!! I haven’t experienced anxiety but I am finding myself withdrawing/isolating A LOT. It’s kind of the “doesn’t play well with others” feeling, so I just quarrantine myself. Needless to say, I’m lonely, overwhelmed, and sad. I keep trying to remind myself that this too shall pass…

I have an appt with my gynecologist on the 17th, really hoping she will help me figure out what the best route is for my body. I don’t really want to do hormone treatment – would rather go the naturopathic way if possible. I just want to get through this stage quickly and without alienating my husband!

If anyone has natural remedies (or even ones they’ve already posted, but have become buried with all the other comments) please list them out – we need you!! :)

We are women, hear us roar!!! :)

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Cyndi December 7, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments, very helpful. Its hard to believe that premenopause can be so bad! Depression/anxiety has been the worst. I’ve had this before in my life but last year it hit me like a ton of bricks out of no where along with weight gain, sleeplessness, incontinence, memory issues, and irregular periods. I honestly haven’t felt myself in over a year. It’s a relief to know that I’m not going crazy even though there are days I feel like it.

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Jennifer Cuffari December 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm

I know exactly what you mean. I sometimes have such horrible feelings of dread. I am seeing my family doctor in a few days and am really hoping to get some much needed help. Just finding someone to talk to I think would help a lot.

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Mindi December 9, 2014 at 12:09 am

So, I’m almost 36 and for the last year my periods have become shorter and less often. I spoke with my dr about it and abut my anxiety and mood swings. She said it was the onset of perimenopause and prescribed wellbutrin. I was worried because I don’t have ‘classic’ menopause symptoms, ie hot flashes, but reading this made me feel so much better. Who knew that my recent itchiness all over could be a symptom? And sore muscles? This has been such a relief. Thanks for the list!!!!

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m.j. December 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I started peri menopause about a year and 4 months ago…I didn’t know what was happening to me so I freaked out had nervous breakdown after nervous breakdown and I believed I was going crazy.
I went to my doctor got my hormone levels checked and my breasts checked because they hurt more than ever before, then was sent to a psychiatrist because the dr’s also thought I was nuts…only to find out from an older good friend of mine, that I was going through peri menopausal symptoms.
I was talking with my mom the other day and she told me about a great doctors office of only female dr’s…I’m going to call and make an appointment ASAP to try and get this figured out

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Suzy Negrette December 13, 2014 at 7:47 pm

So glad to have found this site. I am 42 years old and think I am going nuts. My periods are still regular, but a few times I have had a “flooding” episode and this time lots of clots. I also feel like after I eat I get bloated and get gas pains throughout the day. Anybody else?? I feel abnormal, not anxious like I have stomach cancer or something…ugh!

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Magnolia December 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Suzy,

Progesterone absolutely will help with the heavy, flooding periods, and clots. Toward the end of my own years in perimenopause, that became the worst symptom for me. Once I started using bioidentical progesterone, it stopped it all cold and I was able to transition into menopause with very little fuss.

I highly recommend it.

Magnolia

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Marty December 15, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Hi,
It’s great to read all of your comments and what you’re going through. I am 47 and have most symptoms. Anxiety is probably the worst as well as fatigue. I can get 9 hours of sleep and wake up exhausted. By 1 in the afternoon, I pick up my kids from school then rest on the couch and dread having to prepare dinner still and bedtime is hours away.
I often have a heavy feeling in my chest, have heartburn, nausea…especially in the morning.
I found a great doctor. Tomorrow is finally my appointment to start on bio-identicals. I am so relieved as I expect them to make a world of difference.
Best wishes to all of you out there suffering. I hope there is light at the end of your tunnel soon.
Best wishes, Marty.

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Jennifer Cuffari December 15, 2014 at 9:24 pm

I have just experienced the worst bladder infection ever. I’m halfway to being menopausal and have had the worst possible week. Absolute feelings of doom and gloom, strange and upsetting dreams, interrupted sleep (I usually am a sound sleeper), extreme irritability and moody. Please tell me I am not losing my mind. I sometimes just want to crawl into a corner and cry my eyes out. My husband totally does not understand what I am going through and when he senses my moodiness he disappears into his workshop or goes to the hardware store where all the other men are whose wives are going through the same thing I am going through. I am on no HRT and would like to learn more about natural things I can do without breaking the bank. Any suggestions would be so appreciated.

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Gail December 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Hello,
I have been struggling with emotional symptoms of perimenopause. I feel anxious and nervous. I am divorced and my children are grown. I get terribly lonely. I haven’t had a period since July. I am 56 years old which seems rather late for perimenopause. Has anyone else experienced this? I really need someone to talk to. Thank you for being there :)

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