I remember when I started getting night sweats in my 40s. It was the AIDS era and I was sure that was the source of my nighttime condition. A few years later I noticed a major drop in libido. “Something’s wrong,” I told my trusted GYN. Umm. No. Nothing was wrong. It was how perimenopause manifested for me.
No one told me anything about this stuff and I swore then that I’d make sure the young women I knew were better informed. Today, I’m letting Healthline talk about perimenopause. They’re a website with a collection of all kinds of helpful medical information. Check it out.
This is for you, my 20-, 30- and yes, 40-something friends and readers.
If irregular periods and mood swings have got you feeling like you’ve gone back in time to your teens, but without the tight skin and perky butt, then chances are that you’re in the throes of perimenopause. Yay?
While the road to menopause is no picnic, it really doesn’t have to be all bad. Kissing sanitary products goodbye is one of the payoffs, along with never having to have another period-related headache again. What’s a gal to do in the meantime? First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms even if they seem spot-on for perimenopause. A lot of the symptoms associated with perimenopause are also seen in some medical conditions so a physical can help rule those out.
If it is indeed perimenopause wreaking havoc on your body and mind, then medications and a few lifestyle tweaks can help keep your symptoms (and sanity) in check. Consider these:
- Regular exercise is proven to reduce stress, improve your mood, and help keep your weight down
- A healthier diet with extra calcium and vitamin D improves bone density and can help to lower cholesterol, which women are at a higher risk of as estrogen levels decrease
- Regular sex, either alone or with a partner, increases blood flow to the vagina and can improve things like vaginal dryness and atrophy, as well as elevate your moods
- Water-based lubricants available over the counter can help with the discomfort of vaginal dryness and make sex more enjoyable
- Estrogen creams, hormone replacement therapy, and other prescriptions are available if your symptoms are getting the better of you and interfering with your day-to-day life
You can find out more about perimenopause by clicking here.
~Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer who has been writing about women’s health and fitness for more than a decade. Her work can be found on several of the world’s most reputable health portals, including Healthline.