What Every Woman Should Know About Premenopause

by Holly Osterman

Sometimes, we get so caught up in life that we ignore the inevitable. Premenopause is a stage all women will experience at one point. Could happen as early as your mid-thirties or well into your fifties. But until something changes—your moods, your period, your sex drive—you probably don’t give it a lot of thought.

So now that you’ve experienced the early symptoms of premenopause, what’s next? Your emotions are running wild and you’re probably a little confused. Sure, you want to learn all you can about premenopause and are even willing to embrace the journey, but there’s a lot of information out there. And as you scour through all of the books, websites, and articles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

No need to fear. By taking it one step at a time, you can manage the challenges ahead and be prepared for whatever symptoms come your way. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started:

  1. Perimenopause or premenopause? Some experts and medical professionals use the two terms interchangeably. Others, though, argue that premenopause isn’t technically a stage, but simply the span between our first period and our last period.
  2. Remember to use birth control. It’s still possible to become pregnant even though it may have been a few months since your last period.
  3. Every woman goes through this stage. It can be a walk in the park or extremely challenging depending on several factors, including your diet, health, and even heredity.
  4. Men don’t understand. And sometimes don’t seem to want to. But as difficult as it may be, try to keep them in the loop. Communication is the key to healthy relationships.
  5. Eventually, your periods will stop, but right now they might come and go as they please. This is a good time to start a journal and keep track of your menstrual cycle.
  6. Now is the time to learn everything you can about your hormones and what impact they have on your body. While you may consider different treatment options at one point, start by getting the facts.
  7. Okay, today you had chocolate and wine for dinner. Of course, diet and exercise are important, but don’t forget to cut yourself some slack every now and then.
  8. Please talk to your doctor. An open dialogue with your healthcare professional is vital in managing your premenopause symptoms and deciding on the best treatment option for you.
  9. Ask questions. The better you’ve prepared for your doctor’s visit, the easier it will be to discuss your premenopause symptoms. Don’t be afraid to bring along a list of questions that you’d like to review.
  10. Understand that you are not alone. There are millions of women all over the world going through similar changes in their lives.
  11. Seek out the help, advice, and solutions you need.  Premenopause is a topic that we may not feel comfortable discussing with our family or friends. And that’s okay. Feel free to join our private menopause forum to ask questions, share your story, and connect with other women.
  12. Enjoy the ride.

Yes, that’s right. Enjoy the ride. There are going to be days when you don’t feel like it. We’ve all been there. But premenopause can be considered a time of transformation and—before you know it—a stronger, happier and healthier woman will be standing in the front of the mirror looking back at you.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonni September 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Thanks so much for your website. At 47, I’ve been having symptoms of perimenopause for at least 5 years. It’s been extremely frustrating because whenever I reported during doctors visits the date of my last menstrual cycle my doctors all tell me that I am having other issues and that I am to young to be going through this. So the solution is to give me more hormones to get my cycles regular. It’s as if no one wants to discuss perimenopause, it’s either menopause or nothing. After reading more information on the internet, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve decided I need a new doctor and that what I am going through is absolutely normal. Thanks for the information.

Holly September 4, 2012 at 5:46 am

I’m glad you’ve found the website helpful. Menopause can be frustrating and confusing. Women sometimes forget that their doctor is supposed to be working with them to find a solution and not just issuing a prescription.

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