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Perimenopause Symptoms

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WHAT’S GOING ON?

It might be you’ve noticed your body just isn’t the same – your skin, hair and nails feel different, you’ve changed shape for no apparent reason, or you keep experiencing strange sensations.
Your head might feel a little off too – you’re irritable, knackered or suddenly really anxious about things you used to love doing.
Trying to work out what’s causing these shifts is a tricky one. Is it everyday stress from juggling work, family and everything in between? Is it just age? Or is it the perimenopause?
Multiple trips to the GP’s surgery and hours upon hours lost to Doctor Google don’t necessarily come up with the answers you’re looking for.
It’s frustrating to say the least, but fear not. The first step to feeling like you again starts right here, right now.

POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS

Below, listed alphabetically, are 43 commonly-reported perimenopause symptoms – we recommend you look through, read up on the ones you recognise in yourself (or the person you’re here for) and start putting our top tips into practice.
We also suggest tracking your symptoms via an app and booking a doctor’s appointment to ask the question: “Could I be perimenopausal?” If your periods appear to have stopped completely, jump over to our Menopause Symptoms page instead.

ACNE

You thought you left spots behind in your teens… Now you’re a grown woman and you’re in breakout hell. What are you meant to do? Mix blemish treatments with anti-wrinkle cream?

ANXIETY

You carry nervous tension around with you all day. Things you would normally just brush off wriggle away in your mind. You wish you could just stop fretting and feel normal again.

BLADDER PROBLEMS

A sudden sneeze sneaks up on you and oh great… you’ve weed yourself a bit. Same goes for a spontaneous laugh, when you lift anything heavy or try to jump up and down (no trampolining for you today my love).

BLOATING

You’ve eaten lunch and BAM! Your belly’s puffed up and it’s really, really uncomfortable. You know you need to unbutton your trousers... but Angela from Accounts is sitting right next to you.

BODY ODOUR

Is that smell you or someone else? You are a bit sweaty under your arms and down there...Wasn’t BO supposed to do one after our teens? Why’s it decided to come back with a vengeance now?

BRAIN FOG

You used to pride yourself on your memory – but too often these days you forget what you only remembered five minutes ago. Thoughts can escape you midsentence. New information just won’t sink in.

BRITTLE NAILS

Perhaps you used to pride yourself on your long, strong talons or maybe never thought about your nails at all. But recently, there’s been a change. Now, your nails are dry and flaky, and when they get a little longer, they bend.

BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME

Feel like someone’s shoved a ghost chilli into your chops while you weren’t looking? Or like you drank your tea too soon, only you’re not actually drinking tea?

CHANGES IN SEX DRIVE

For some women, the menopause is an incredibly liberating time when it comes to sex. But for many, their sex drive has got up and left the building.

CHANGES IN SKIN TEXTURE

You accept your skin is going to age – but has someone suddenly pressed fast forward? Your face feels like it’s losing its bounce-back-ability. And your crow’s feet are multiplying but this is no laughing matter.

CLUMSINESS

Bumping into more things than a dodgem at a fairground? And has your hand-eye coordination gone to pot? If your carpets are enjoying more of your drinks than you are, this could be down to the perimenopause.

DECREASING FERTILITY

As signs of the menopause start to emerge, are you relieved that your chances of falling pregnant could be dropping by the day? Or are your nerves being stretched to their limits as you try to conceive?

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ACNE

You thought you left spots behind in your teens… Now you’re a grown woman and you’re in breakout hell. What are you meant to do? Mix blemish treatments with anti-wrinkle cream?

READ MORE

ANXIETY

You carry nervous tension around with you all day. Things you would normally just brush off wriggle away in your mind. You wish you could just stop fretting and feel normal again.

READ MORE

BLADDER PROBLEMS

A sudden sneeze sneaks up on you and oh great… you’ve weed yourself a bit. Same goes for a spontaneous laugh, when you lift anything heavy or try to jump up and down (no trampolining for you today my love).

READ MORE

BLOATING

You’ve eaten lunch and BAM! Your belly’s puffed up and it’s really, really uncomfortable. You know you need to unbutton your trousers... but Angela from Accounts is sitting right next to you.

READ MORE

BODY ODOUR

Is that smell you or someone else? You are a bit sweaty under your arms and down there...Wasn’t BO supposed to do one after our teens? Why’s it decided to come back with a vengeance now?

READ MORE

BRAIN FOG

You used to pride yourself on your memory – but too often these days you forget what you only remembered five minutes ago. Thoughts can escape you midsentence. New information just won’t sink in.

READ MORE

BRITTLE NAILS

Perhaps you used to pride yourself on your long, strong talons or maybe never thought about your nails at all. But recently, there’s been a change. Now, your nails are dry and flaky, and when they get a little longer, they bend.

READ MORE

BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME

Feel like someone’s shoved a ghost chilli into your chops while you weren’t looking? Or like you drank your tea too soon, only you’re not actually drinking tea?

READ MORE

CHANGES IN SEX DRIVE

For some women, the menopause is an incredibly liberating time when it comes to sex. But for many, their sex drive has got up and left the building.

READ MORE

CHANGES IN SKIN TEXTURE

You accept your skin is going to age – but has someone suddenly pressed fast forward? Your face feels like it’s losing its bounce-back-ability. And your crow’s feet are multiplying but this is no laughing matter.

READ MORE

CLUMSINESS

Bumping into more things than a dodgem at a fairground? And has your hand-eye coordination gone to pot? If your carpets are enjoying more of your drinks than you are, this could be down to the perimenopause.

READ MORE

DECREASING FERTILITY

As signs of the menopause start to emerge, are you relieved that your chances of falling pregnant could be dropping by the day? Or are your nerves being stretched to their limits as you try to conceive?

READ MORE

DEPRESSION

You’re not just sad. This is worse than that. It’s like someone’s sucked the colour out of life. The things you used to enjoy don’t give you pleasure anymore. Getting up in the morning feels like a battle. The world feels dark.

READ MORE

DIZZINESS

Fed up of standing up and immediately feeling like you’re going to fall over? These wibbly, wobbly, weak moments seem to have come out of nowhere. Is this a normal part of getting older?

READ MORE

EXTREME PMS

Want to cry one minute, bite someone’s head off the next and then eat all the pies? Has your face turned into a dot-to-dot, your hair gone greasy and your belly’s puffed right up? Could it be PMS?

READ MORE

FATIGUE

Feel like you’ve been hit by a freight train? Like you’re going on 500-years-old rather than 50? Fatigue is a common symptom of perimenopause and menopause.

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FEELING COLD

Feel like you’re spending more and more time burrowed in a jumper? The weather’s not even being that unpredictable, but you alternate between feeling OK and then shivery or cold?

READ MORE

FOOD CRAVINGS

Why has the snack cupboard suddenly turned into the Pied Piper? Only you’re the only one that can hear the music. You simply can’t get enough. Crisps, biscuits, cake, sweets – you want it all, and you want it now.

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HEADACHES & MIGRAINES

You may have always been prone to a headache or two around your time of the month. But recently, they’ve got worse. You feel a bit woozy and sick and one side of your head is pounding.

READ MORE

HOT FLUSHES

You never know when one is going to hit you. One minute you’re completely fine, the next you’re drenched, uncomfortable and looking more like Alice Cooper than the polished professional you were moments before.

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INCREASED BREAST SIZE

You might have been longing for bigger boobs your whole life or were perfectly happy with the size of your bust… Either way, it can be disconcerting and uncomfortable when your cups start spilling over.

READ MORE

IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT

There are many songs that wax lyrical about your heart skipping a beat when you’re a giddy kipper in love… But what if you aren’t feeling at all romantic and your heart is missing some beats or randomly chucking in a few extra.

READ MORE

IRREGULAR PERIODS

You’ve got that feeling again. You know, the one when you’re just about to get your period. Except it doesn’t come. And then finally it does. But...hang on a minute. What’s this two weeks later?

READ MORE

IRRITABILITY

Irritability is a normal and common feeling. But thanks to the menopause, you may find that you get far more irritated, far more often – and, oh boy, a hell of a lot faster.

READ MORE

ITCHY CRAWLY SKIN

You can feel them. They’re crawling up your neck, across your thighs. And woah, hold on a minute, where do they think they’re going?!

READ MORE

JOINT PAIN

Do you feel like the Tin Man getting out of bed in the morning? Like everything has seized up and you need someone to come and spray some WD40 to get you moving?

READ MORE

LACK OF MOTIVATION

Do you feel like your get up and go has got up and gone? Your usual zest for life is lacking and you’re finding it hard to get on with anything. You don’t have the energy – and it can wait until tomorrow.

READ MORE

MOOD SWINGS

You’re up. You’re down. You’re mad. You’re sad. You’re all over the place. It used to be easy for you and other people to follow your mood...but now you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.

READ MORE

MUSCLE TENSION

Are you waking up in the night feeling stiff and sore? Or perhaps when you get out of bed in the morning you feel about 100 years old? Your muscles and joints just hurt.

READ MORE

NAUSEA & DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS

Normally you’d get up, enjoy some breakfast and crack on with your busy schedule. But these days, the mere thought of food repels you. You’re more likely to be found hugging the toilet bowl.

READ MORE

NIGHT SWEATS

If you’re feeling more soggy than sexy in the bedroom these days, you’re probably getting night sweats. Flipping the duvet on and off throughout the night, waking up soaked and clammy in a cool room.

READ MORE

OSTEOPOROSIS

Most commonly, there won’t be any pain or signs. The first time you’ll realise you have osteoporosis is when you break a bone without having any sort of accident.

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POOR CONCENTRATION

There you are chatting away, and you suddenly stop mid-sentence because whatever you were saying is... gone? Just read a message but couldn’t tell someone even under oath what it said?

READ MORE

RECURRENT UTIs

Oh no. Not again. It only feels like five minutes since you had your last bout of cystitis. Needing to go every five minutes, and then burning or bleeding when you do. Then there’s the smell…

READ MORE

SAGGING BREASTS

It’s cruel that when we’re not feeling perky in ourselves our breasts follow suit. We’re here to tell you to hold your head up high. There’s loads of us sisters experiencing the same sinking situation.

READ MORE

SHORT-TERM MEMORY ISSUES

You have two important things to do today. You can’t remember the first one. But you know that the second is that you need to start writing things down.

READ MORE

SLEEP ISSUES & INSOMNIA

You’re staring into the abyss of the ceiling and it feels like torture. Thoughts are whirling at super-speed and you’re hyper-aware that you’re counting down the hours until your alarm goes off.

READ MORE

SORE BREASTS

You’ve probably experienced achy, heavy boobs in the run-up to your period. You know, the kind where you have to hold them as you head down the stairs? The difference now is you’re finding they feel that way, well... whenever.

READ MORE

THINNING HAIR

Once luscious locks now feel wiry and thin, and by the looks of your hairbrush, anyone would be forgiven for thinking you’d been grooming a long-haired cat.

READ MORE

TINNITUS

What is that high-pitched noise? It’s following you around. And getting you down. You haven’t been anywhere near a loud concert recently but your ears are ringing. Day and night.

READ MORE

VAGINAL DRYNESS

It’s hard for anyone to admit that their bits and pieces suddenly don’t seem to work quite the way they used to – but vaginal dryness is a really common menopausal side-effect.

READ MORE

VIVID DREAMS

Whoa... you’re not breaking out the camembert before bed, but you’re having some really crazy dreams of late. Under the duvet is not the comforting place it used to be.

READ MORE

WEIGHT GAIN

You haven’t changed your eating habits but lately your clothes feel like they’ve been washed at the wrong temperature. Weight has crept on, it’s mostly camping out around your middle – and it’s proving harder to shift than it used to be.

READ MORE

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