With perimenopause starting anywhere from a woman’s 40’s to as early as her 30’s, this passage can appear so subtly that you may not notice the beginning of it at first. Since a change in your period can be attributed to other lifestyle factors, such as diet or medication, it may take a dry spell with your partner, a hot flash, or a lengthy bout of insomnia before “the change” even enter’s your mind.
In fact, 66% of women reported they did not feel prepared for perimenopause. This is a busy time in a woman’s life as you’re probably well established in your choice of career or you’re taking care of children or perhaps your elders. How can you add yet another thing to everything that you’re already responsible for?
A worldwide research group compared the attitudes of both men and women during various female reproductive stages and they found that menopausal women were mostly associated with terms that indicated unfavorable descriptions and even “illness.”
It’s bad enough that a woman is already internalizing the transformation of her identity but to also bear the burden of this subtle yet pervasive discrimination could be the reason that most are in some sort of state of denial that this phase of life has arrived.
You’re not alone if you’re hesitant to talk about menopause at all. For the most part it has a long history of being a taboo topic even though it happens to every woman and is a natural part of life.
What’s The Plan?
You’re not at the mercy of whatever your body wants to do. Actually being passive about it could be making your condition worse. By taking initiative and creating actionable steps you can help to minimize your symptoms and empower your confidence.
Consult With a Trusted Doctor
Either with your General Practitioner or OB/GYN, you want to remember you want to feel comfortable and heard. Talking to someone who is just going to prescribe medication and send you home is not really the best treatment option since perimenopause is very different for each individual.
Not only are every woman’s symptoms different for perimenopause but they can also change on a whim. By proactively studying what you might be afflicted with will help you to be prepared instead of adding more stress to rush to figure out what is going on when it happens in the middle of an already inconvenient time. This blog is a good resource to help you with that, but if you want to explore others, here is a list of things you could try.
Vibe With Your Tribe
You might have the inclination to soldier through it alone but that’s not a healthy approach. Further isolating yourself can lead to an increase in anxiety and depression. Feeling connected to others releases the hormones of oxytocin and dopamine which a lack of estrogen is not going to be supplying. By sharing with your peers you’re not just verbally venting you’re actually supplementing a calming effect.
Keep a Journal
As your hormones fluctuate you might be struggling to keep up with not only the physical changes but also the mental ones which could have you wondering Did I just imagine that happened? Try to keep a daily dairy of what you’re thinking and feeling so you can have a record that could help you not only have a clear conscience but also evidence.
Sleep Like a Queen
Being tired, dealing with debilitating brain fog, and facing insomnia are some of the most common ailments of perimenopause. Now, more than ever, it’s very important to make sure you’re prioritizing keeping a consistent sleep schedule and that your bedroom is equipped to support a relaxing and comfortable night’s rest.
Perhaps when you were pregnant you didn’t think twice about announcing your news to the entire department but now…you’re hesitating. Depending on the corporate culture that you’re in you may want to have a private discussion with a superior or HR on how you should approach the difficulties you might be having. Keep in mind that remaining silent could have far-reaching consequences as poor performance is penalized.
Love the Skin You’re In
Literally! You may be battling bouts of dryness or your teenage acne has returned in full force. Stress and hormone fluctuations could be triggering oiliness or a lack thereof to your skin either in specific places for all over. Treat yourself kindly and remember this is temporary and it will eventually even out.
The Long Game
While you might feel tormented and far away from feeling normal, try to keep in mind that one day your hormones will settle down and you’ll have a sense of stability again. Plus, you’re going to save money as you won’t be buying your monthly feminine care anymore. And the big bonus…you can wear all the white or light colored clothing to your heart’s content anytime you want!
While you may not want to talk to your girlfriends just yet or worse your mother, you might feel a bit safer with a secret scrolling tactic. There are plenty of resources online if you want to check out a discussion, let out your frustration, or learn more about what you’re experiencing. Here’s a few to get you started:
Mojo ResourcesRaising your voice allows others to understand what you’re going through. For generations, most women have kept quiet about their circumstances which has resulted in poor societal judgement. Contributing to a growing conversation encourages the development of new perceptions and it could make this normal shift a more acceptable phase of life to be embraced instead of shunned.