Menopause Mondays: Perimenopause Hold the Date
Location: in your head (mental/emotional symptoms) and below your head (physical symptoms)
Start time: when you are young and active (typically beginning between the ages of 38-48 years young)
End time: Perimenopause ends when menopause begins (when you are period-free for 12 consecutive months). The average age to hit menopause is 51 years young
All Day Event: __X__
Attendees: You, your husband, boyfriend, lover, children, family, friends, coworkers, and grocery store clerk!
Notes: I know this may be a shocker, and your calendar is trying to reject this entry, however, you need to squeeze this in between the family birthdays, your kids carpool, business meetings, dinners, and holiday planning. You know how we like to plan. We have everything on our planners, BlackBerries and iPhones. It is time to plan for perimenopause!
The biggest myth about perimenopause and menopause (or PM&M as I like to call it!) is that it begins when you are old. SO NOT TRUE! Perimenopause begins sooner than you think! Once the symptoms start (there are over 30 PM&M symptoms they can last up to 6-10 years before you have been without your period for 12 consecutive months, and thus reached the point of menopause. Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness has a wonderful Shmirshky Daily Symptoms Chart on pages 168-9 to help you chart your perimenopause symptoms when they begin. Give this chart to your perimenopause and menopause specialist, so that you can get the individualized care you deserve.
Many women don’t realize that perimenopause begins at such a young age. They often think the age of menopause is 60 or over. No such luck!
Just because you’re beginning perimenopause symptoms in your late 30’s or early 40’s, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are experiencing early menopause or premature menopause. Regardless of when your perimenopause symptoms begin, if you hit menopause when you’re under the age of forty, it’s generally classified as premature menopause. Premature menopause can be a result of one’s genetic make-up, an illness, or medical procedures such as a hysterectomy. You may come across the term early menopause as well. Early menopause describes both natural and induced menopause before the age of 45. No matter when you begin the process, between the onset of your first perimenopause symptoms, and the point at which you hit menopause, there’s enough time for bell-bottoms to be in style, go out of style, and then come back in style again. (Check out the new looks…they are back in now!!!)
The most important thing to remember is that there is no magic age of menopause and there is no right or wrong age of perimenopause. Your body has its own schedule! Most importantly, be prepared and trust how you feel. You know when things are changing and you’re not functioning properly. When you sense the change brewing, reach out and get the help you deserve. Now that’s something worth putting on your calendar!