Am I Too Young for Perimenopause?
Oh boy, sound familiar?
You head to the doctor with all these symptoms that make you wonder if maybe, just maybe, you might be going through this menopause thing.
But what do they say? "You're too young for menopause!" We hear it all the time and the woman heads home disheartened and distressed at the lack of help.
But here's the thing that often gets completely forgotten and lost: perimenopause not menopause!
Yep, that's the sneaky phase that comes before the official "menopause" title. It's like the pre-game warm-up before the main event. Your body starts doing all sorts of wild things, and you're left wondering, "What's happening to me?"
So, next time you find yourself in that doctor's office, don't be afraid to bring up the P-word – perimenopause.
Yes, it's a real thing, and it's about to make life rather interesting, to say the least!
Average Age for Perimenopause
In terms of absolute black and white confirmation, there isn't any hormone test that can confirm whether you're in perimenopause for sure.
Permenopause is determined by your age and symptoms.
The average age to reach menopause (a point in time, when you haven't had a period for 1 year) is 51.
You've reached menopause when you haven’t had a period for 12 months and your Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) blood levels are elevated to 30 mIU/ml or higher.
With perimenopause, the transition years leading up to menopause - this can last between 2 - 12 years but on average it lasts between 4 - 6 years.
The average age for perimenopause is your mid 40’s but it can start in your late 30’s. So if you've started to notice symptoms (scroll down for perimenopause symptoms to keep an eye out for), then you could well be in perimenopause.
Early Perimenopause Symptoms
In the very early stages of perimenopause, your cycle can still be regular or it could be shortened to 21-26 days. Professor Jerilynn Prior says that a midlife woman with a regular cycle with three of the nine symptoms below is likely to be in peri:
- New-onset heavy and/or longer flow
- Shorter menstrual cycle (25 days or less)
- New sore, swollen or lumpy breasts
- New mid-sleep waking
- Increased menstrual cramps
- Onset of night sweats, in particular premenstrually
- New or markedly increased migraine headaches
- New or increased premenstrual mood swings
- Weight gain without changes in exercise or eating.
Find a GP with a Special Interest in Women's Health in Midlife
A good resource to find GP’s that have a special interest in women's health in midlife and menopause, and the promotion of healthy aging in Australia can be found here.
Join a Lovely Supportive Community
Community is like the secret sauce in navigating perimenopause! It's like having a bunch of supportive friends who just "get it."
I mean, think about it: when you're in that perimenopausal phase, you're dealing with a rollercoaster of symptoms – hot flashes, mood swings, sleep troubles, you name it. And who better to lean on than a group of women who are right there with you, going through the same ups and downs?
Whether it's sharing tips on how to cool down during a hot flash or just having someone to vent to when the mood swings hit, having a supportive community can make all the difference. So, don't be shy about seeking out your fellow perimenopausal pals – we're out there, and we've got your back! 💪👭🌟
Join the SheBANG! Women: The PeriSisterhood community for women experiencing perimenopause.
You Know Yourself
You know yourself better than anyone else! Trust that inner voice, your instincts, and your feelings. Don't ever let anyone invalidate your experiences or try to convince you that what you're going through isn't real. Your thoughts, emotions, and experiences are valid, and they matter. So, keep being true to yourself and trust your gut – it's your best guide! 😊🌟