3 Sure Signs You Are in Perimenopause

Sad woman suffering from perimenopause

Night sweats. Belly fat/water retention. Increased anxiety. Worsening PMS symptoms. Cycle changes. Irritability. Fitful sleep. Brain fog. Breast swelling and tenderness. Weight gain. Migraines and headaches. Decreased libido. Depression. Vaginal dryness. Dizziness. Mental confusion. Recurrent UTIs. Susceptibility to vaginal infections.

Do you experience any or all of these and still have your cycle? Is your cycle light, heavy, and everything in between? Is your cycle irregular, sometimes skipping months at a time? Welcome to the perimenopause club.

There are over 40 million American women going through the perimenopause transition (to menopause) today. Perimenopause is the time when our bodies are beginning their change to eventually having no cycle. We are officially in Menopause when we have had no cycle for one year. It can take between five to ten years.

Some experience few, if any, of the symptoms above. Some don’t recognize the difference between PMS and perimenopause because, for most women, they are one-in-the-same: bloating, weepiness, and mood swings. For most women, this is all due to a decline in progesterone and either stable or increase in estrogen. A decline in testosterone can result in a decrease in libido, depression, and other symptoms.

Many women are frustrated, confused, and unsure of the steps to take to feel better. More are reticent to talk to anyone, including their doctor, about the range of issues they are experiencing.

Sad woman suffering from perimenopause

If any or all of these symptoms apply to you, this is the perfect time for you to explore an opportunity to look forward, not backward. This is a time to reflect on exciting new opportunities that await you. With so many inevitable changes happening within our bodies, I love to remind women it’s time to take charge. Only the esteemed researcher, author, and Psychologist Brené Brown can say it so well and frankly so directly below:

Midlife is “…the time in your life when the universe gently places her hand on your shoulders, pulls you close in and whispers in your ear I’m not *%!-ing around.”

For me, this means this is the perfect time to figure out if you’re on a purposeful path. Are you feeling good, growing, and becoming the best version of yourself? If you are, continue on that trajectory. If you are not feeling your best, you still have time to take charge and align your calendar, lifestyle, and actions with your values.

Some time ago, our society decided aging was not something to be celebrated. Aging comes with its share of aches, pains, and truths, yet it can bring wisdom, perspective, and a host of benefits I can attest to myself. So take this time to focus on what is the most important – your journey.

Purple perimenopause word cloud

One value I hope we all share is the ability to live in this body we’ve been given with as much health, well-being, gratitude, and joy as possible. So, when perimenopause begins, we can be on the lookout for notable symptoms and beautifully have our list of tools to use to feel whole.

Although the list of symptoms I most frequently hear from women is long, below are the most annoying or those that visibly impact your lifestyle.

1. Hot Flashes/Night Sweats

80 percent of women worldwide experience one or both. A night sweat is simply a hot flash at night!

While a small percentage of pregnant women experience night sweats, most cases are the result of hormonal fluctuations. Specifically, the changes in estrogen and progesterone throw off your body’s temperature control. So while some believe night sweats and hot flashes are connected to insulin resistance, most are again due to a changing female hormone profile.

TIP: Set your bedtime environment for sleep. I tell my clients: calm, cool (66 degrees or lower), quiet, dark, cozy.

2. Belly Fat

The body you had in your 20s and 30s is gone. Therefore, how you treat your body now cannot be like you did then. Your body is different, your values are different, and your lifestyle is different… so your approach to fitness and nutrition needs to be different too.

You may believe that ‘working harder’ and ‘cutting calories’ is the only way to lose the extra weight around your middle and chest. When we were in our 20s and 30s, tons of high-intensity cardio – without rest – and punishing exercise strategies worked for us to shed those three pounds to fit into our jeans. Well, sadly, not anymore. Our body is different, and so should be our diet, our exercise, and really our entire life.

As we age, we especially need to focus on building strength, maintaining mobility, and moving as our bodies were designed.

As we age, our metabolism slows down mainly because we sit more, don’t move as much, and are weighed down in our old habits. So, accommodating our eating practices and food choices to fit this new normal is the key to losing weight and staying fit and healthy through this transition.

TIP: Stop the madness of over-cardio and under-strength training. Our bodies need a new paradigm for strength, balance, and calm. Focus on building strength and make sure you are also prioritizing maintenance programs for your body (chiropractor, physical therapist, etc.) to remain injury-free and maximize those training sessions!

3. Anxiety

I wrote a series about Perimenopause and Menopause a few years ago. In Part 1, I discuss why creating your tools for stress resilience is essential to progressing through these years with some semblance of calm.

Since we began our cycle, our body has been producing a cocktail of hormones to trigger our period. For many women, it is almost like clockwork. For some, it is more erratic. Nonetheless, it was, for-the-most-part predictable.

Now, our brain is confused. The hormones aren’t triggering as regularly, our body is feeling different, and it is anxious about how to adjust. Anxiety is, therefore, front and center, and our nervous system is trying to adjust to the “new you.”

TIP: Find your stress resilience in simple habits like “purposeful pauses” throughout your day, making conscious breathing a regular practice, and dubbing sleep your most important appointment of the day.

If you are interested in any of our newest programs, like our latest special for our small group fitness program, email us at alicia@alexandriawellness.com. You can also subscribe to our newsletter below to get monthly tips about how you can reach the optimal in holistic wellness.

Check out last week’s blog to Help a High Schooler & Sweat for a Cause! Join us in supporting Avery Chadwick and Team Raise Hope Together to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Students of the Year Campaign.

Lis Small group Alexandria Wellness flier February 2022

Share this post with friends

Get Exclusive Health And Wellness Tips and Strategies I Only Share With My Email Subscribers.

Share this post with friends

Get Exclusive Health And Wellness Tips and Strategies I Only Share With My Email Subscribers.

Scroll to Top
Welcome to our Community!

Hi there! Check your inbox for wellness tips and strategies I exclusively share with my email subscribers.

While you wait for the next email, read our blog and follow Alexandria Wellness on LinkedIn to stay informed about our robust offerings for you.

In Strength,