There is this monster that afflicts most women in their 40s. If it has not done anything to you, count your blessings every single day.

After popping out two kids and suffering a lifetime of periods, I thought I could take on anything that life tosses at me. Well, I was SO wrong!

As soon as I touched the magical figure of 40, there was a clear transition in my body and mind. It started slowly and piled me with miseries as the years progressed.

It began with exaggerated PMS symptoms. Excessive mood swings, beginning of hot flushes, aches and pains in joints and muscles.

Now if you thought that I was eating junk and not working out, let me assure you that I was working out regularly and have been anal about eating properly.

Heck, I was even cooking all the meals personally.

Since then it has been an ugly rollercoaster ride. I officially feel hot all the time. I run the airconditioner all through the night even when the weather is pleasant.

The weird part is that I go from feeling very hot to cold to hot on a cyclical basis. Needless to say, this nonsense starting interfering with my sleep. So bad sleep meant cranky mood and interference with daily productivity.

Crazy bloating, vaginal dryness, dry eyes, headaches, depression, irregular heartbeat, chin hair (which I never knew women could have) to disrupted sleep and insomnia. And yes, periods that had been like clockwork went awry.

So much so that I no longer know when a period would abruptly begin, how long will it last and how bad will be the flow. I know of women who have turned to adult diapers because the flow is so bad.

There was also crazy kinds of pain all over the body. Joints would be sore one day. Another day muscles would be. It was unnerving to live in this vortex of regular miseries.

I can only thank my lucky stars that I did not work in a conventional office. I don’t know how I would have coped with all these debilitating physical discomforts and emotional upheavals.

The biggest issue by far was anxiety. I realised that I started feeling anxious for no reason and had an uneven heart rate too.

Trust me I tried everything. Meditation, Yoga, diet but I guess the fluctuating hormones are unrelenting.

What is the worst is that most women are unaware because it is not a regular topic of conversation.

And gynaecologists are not much help whatsoever. Can’t tell you how many times I have heard that this is a natural phase and one must bear it.

I had to push them to give me some medication especially when daily functioning was getting difficult.

Now, I actively await for this hell to get over. I can rant on and on about why it is so unfair that men to just breeze through middle age and women to suffer like hell.

For them, middle age crisis often if about life-changing decisions like which bigger car to buy or whether to dye their hair or not.

For women, leaving your hair grey is often no choice unless you want to hear ‘buddhi” or old woman tossed at you all the while.

Yes, a lot of times even people close to you get just start attributing every pain of yours to “Oh, that’s regular for you.”

Empathy is often hard to come by.

As women struggle through hormonal imbalances and psychological issues, their rat race intensifies.

Professional work, handling teenage children and incessant household chores could feel like too much often. I know I have been here.

To other women like me, talk about it with friends especially women. I am also a part of a few groups online where women going through the same phase talk and listen without judgment. 

Don’t be disappointed if your partners or male friends do not get it. They have had it easier so I guess they can choose to ignore.

My biggest advice would be to focus on your mental health. Reach out to therapists and psychiatrist. Take that medication. It can help you cope with the new transitional phase of your life.

If your gynaec advises you HRT or something else that helps you, take it. Please do not suffer. You don’t have to be a martyr.

Also biggest thing is learn to say NO and seek help with chores or anything else when you are really feeling overwhelmed.

I wish every woman a peaceful phase into menopause while I wait for mine.

I would love to hear if you are facing any perimenopause symptoms and how you are coping with them.

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13 Thoughts on “The Horrendous Perimenopause

  1. I was nodding my head all along your post, Rachna…yes, yes, and YES, for every line here! Apart from all that you have listed here, here’s something that I experience: I am hungry ALL THE TIME! I think of food even when I am having food! I feel tired and enthusiastic by turns, I am anxious and so emotional, I can cry at a drop of a hat. And, the tears flow like the Niagara falls.
    I am so awaiting the end of this phase. My mother didn’t experience any of what I am going through.She said, she sailed through it all! My cousins and I wonder what stuff our mothers are made of!

    Hugs to you, dear. Let’s hope this comes to an end and that menopause proves to be the light at the end of this tunnel. ;P
    Although, I am not sure what happens after all of this is over. Will menopause be the beginning of a better chapter for us? Only time will tell, coz I have heard horror stories of all the stuff that goes wrong after menopause, too!

    • Good to hear that there are so many like us out there. I can imagine how the perpetual hunger must be wreaking havoc. As it is, in this phase, we just seem to gain weight out of thin air. Yes, the bouts of crying. Sometimes, I feel so emotional for no reason. It is so crazy. My mum is not around for me to ask. But my elder sister had absolutely no such symptoms. Talk about lucking out. Currently, I am waiting for menopause. We will tackle that devil once it unleashes. 😀

  2. I hear you, Rachna! And i totally understand what you mean with every little nagging problem that you’re going through at this stage, that can seem to compound and overwhelm you while you struggle to cope with it on a daily basis. I’ve been through it early on, because I had a hysterectomy about 7 years ago as I was asked to get rid of my fibroids. The surgery brought on early menopause for me and I felt like I was literally hit by a tornado out of the blue. But, let me tell you, this, things do get better over time. Exercising regularly, meditating, doing strength-training, taking Magnesium supplements, getting 30 mins of sunlight every day, hydrating and getting at least 7+ hours of sleep—all of these help to reduce the hot flushes and the emotional overwhelm. BUT, it happens slowly and yes, it DOES get better, I can assure you, so hang in there. This too shall pass, Rachna. Ultimately, it’s all about balancing the hormones which are playing havoc with our mind and body.

  3. All said and done, I have not had the worst of symptoms though the longevity of them is really draining. Also symptoms get aggravated in phases. I am happy to hear that for you it got better after menopause. I hope it can for me as well. Thanks for your warm words.

  4. Omg…I heard menopause is hard ,but this is a whole differrnt level. My mom didn’t have it easy. And we all failed to understand at that point. We were young kids and I feel guilty that I wasn’t empathetic enough. We thought she was sick or had fever. I came to know they were menopause symptoms after many many years when I read posts like yours. It suddenly hit me that what mom was going through was menopause. It lasted years if I remember correctly.
    I wish you well Rachna. Hope it gets better over time.

    • Thank you, Raj! Yes, we never really understand. I have spoken to my sons about menopause and how hard it is. But I don’t go to them every time I have heavy periods or mood swings. I guess they understand. The husband is quite fed up too. As I can imagine because these just go on and on for years on end. Luckily, I have been actively reaching out to my doc to take whatever that can alleviate some symptoms. I am hoping that I am reaching close to menopause. Frankly, I want it tomorrow.

  5. True Rachna, I am turning 41 and period irregularity seems to be the way…And all along I was thinking only women past 50 could have troubles relatedvto menopause… I wonder if its changes in lifestyles and routines compared to grandparents generations is causing a change ?? My aunts seem a lot more healthier at 70 thougj as you said I work out and eat right…

    • Yes, perimenopause starts earlier these days and then the other changes. I wonder if it is the lifestyles or maybe overall more stress in our lives as compared to our grandparents. That when we all seem to be more conscious of what we eat and our workouts. I wish that you face a smoother ride.

  6. Tulika on July 1, 2022 at 8:08 pm said:

    Gosh I hear you loud and clear Rachna. For a long time, I didn’t realise that my heightened anxiety and mood-swings came from being pre-menopausal. Worse still, dealing with two young teens just made it that much worse. And nobody, nobody can understand what one is going through.
    What you said about men facing midlife crises made me smile though. They really do have it lot easier and that’s just unfair.

    • Me too. I remember going to my gynaec when I was 41 or so with very bad anxiety and PMS symptoms. She told me that I may be in early peri menopause. I had no clue till then. Just like you handling two teens in this time period and then Covid has really been hard. I am hoping that I am approaching the end and a silver lining somewhere.
      I am happy that you saw the humor there. 🙂 I feel so envious that men have it just so easy.

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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