You May Be Perimenopausal If...Stefanie Wilder Taylor
Recently I went to the doctor to get my physical. I’d gone in to do labs a few days before and I was anxious to hear that everything was great. I mean, I felt great except for this anxiety I’d been getting out of nowhere. I knew I wanted to tell him about that because I thought it might be hormone related. Having been preggo with Elby and then twins, I am no stranger to the hormone game. But I was shocked when my doctor told me that my FSH number indicated that I’m post menopausal! “That seems unlikely considering the fact that I have my period RIGHT NOW” I said. And he responded that my hormones are obviously fluctuating a lot which is what happens when you are headed into menopause. That’s right, folks, I’m in perimenopause and you might be too. After doing a little research I have figured out that I have some but not all of these symptoms which are some of the highlights of perimenopause.
Irregular periods —This doesn’t mean that shark week comes a few days late, this means your periods become harder to predict than Lindsay Lohan’s court appearances. One month you get it twice and then it isn’t seen again for six months. Once I went six months without it and when I got my hormone levels checked they weren’t even low!
Irritability Is your husband doing this thing with his toes where he rubs them together and it makes a noise not unlike sandpaper that becomes ALL YOU CAN HEAR? And did you try to mention it to him nicely only to have him look at you like it’s YOUR PROBLEM? Maddening right? Also, perimenopause.
Anxiety One minute you’re bringing in the trash bins thinking about whether or not you love Nicki Manaj on American Idol and the next minute you feel like you’re about to give a speech to a thousand people. Your heart starts palpitating, you start to sweat and you can only pray that a Xanax finds itself to your mouth in the next ten seconds.
Low libido Sure you’re tired, after all you have three kids, one of whom is always sick (or whining). Also, you work and drive in traffic and have a lot of stress not to mention migraines (which we’ll get to in a minute). So it’s expected that you don’t want to get down to business in the bedroom as much as you used to right? Well, it’s either that or your testosterone is not what it used to be. But low sex drive is a symptom of perimenopause. My doctor suggested taking DHEA (you know IF I was having that symptom) but how much I’m not sure. If you know, tell us in the comments! Our sex drive will thank you. Okay, my sex drive will thank you if you must know!
Migraines —Some of us have always had migraines while others only develop this type of headache when their estrogen goes on the perimenopause roller coaster. And a few lucky bitches stop getting migraines when their hormones levels lessen. It’s really a crapshoot. But the bottom line is if you start developing migraines or more of them, you could definitely be in perimenopause. Or you have a brain tumor. Get it checked.
Unexplained Weight Gain Have you put on a few pounds right around your middle even though your eating habits haven’t changed and you didn’t forget to renew your gym membership? Could be perimenopause. Apparently, it’s not just a function of falling estrogen levels but also just plain old aging. The only way to fight this is to get even more exercise than usual and to stop eating so much candy. That, my friends, is just a bridge too far. Maybe it’s just better to go up a jean’s size and live with it.
Trouble Sleeping I guess among the many things estrogen does helping you get to sleep is one of them. I, personally, have never had a problem dozing off (except on airplanes, in cars or at slumber parties) so I’m not looking forward to this symptom.If you are having trouble sleeping try not to get hooked on Ambien. Instead try melatonin or cut down on coffee or exercise more. Or get some Tylenol PM. Whatever, I’m not a doctor!
Dry Skin As I mentioned, I’m not a doctor. But I do know that ever since I started noticing the hormonal shifts, my face feels like a stretched balloon. What’s up with that? I find myself slathering on moisturizer more often than ever —morning, noon and night. This is a good time to find a drug store brand because it gets costly using a gallon of Clinique a day. Hi Jergens.
Dry Vajayjay Or so I’ve heard. There are lots of products on the market to help you with this so let’s not talk about it anymore.
Forgetfulness Like with pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations can make you stupid. Have you always been great with names? Not anymore. This is a great excuse to stop trying to learn new things. For every new thing you learn, you’re in danger of losing something important from your memory like your kids’ birthdays. It’s not worth it!
Hot Flashes I haven’t had one of these yet but my doctors keep asking if I have which tells me I’m going to experience it any second. Supposedly it’s like jumping in a sauna only less pleasant. About the only thing you can do to fix this is go on hormone replacement therapy. I haven’t reached this point just yet but I’d love to hear anyone’s experience that has. Low dose birth control? Herbal? Prempro? Whole Foods creams? Tell me!
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