Perimenopause Symptoms I Didn’t Know

It's more than just hot flashes and mood swings. Five perimenopause symptoms your mother never told you about that suck even more.

Seriously, how many pluses are there physically about turning fifty? Pretty much the only one women all look forward to is the end of periods. Ok, so we may have some hot flashes and some mood swings too. And to be honest, the mood swings I really don’t care about because it affects the people around me more than me.

But if that’s all I have to put up with, it sounds worth it to me if it signals the end of my monthly visitor. Well, surprise, surprise, there are more perimenopause symptoms than what TV has led me to believe and my mother never told me about that suck even more.

It's more than just hot flashes and mood swings. Five perimenopause symptoms your mother never told you about that suck even more.

5 Perimenopause Symptoms I Didn’t Know About

1. Sleep disruption

I would kill to be able to sleep like a teenager again. I go weeks without sleeping properly. I actually believe this is the reason for most mood swings. I can’t seem to get a solid few hours without waking. And then it’s nearly impossible to fall back asleep, until it’s close to alarm time of course. I’m used to my husband’s snoring but a creak on the floor downstairs wakes me like a five alarm fire bell.

2. Bloating and Cramps

Oh yay! I’m not actually getting a period but still get the bloating and cramping. Thank you uterus.

3. Heavy sudden periods

At least when I was regular, I knew approximately when to expect my period and be prepared. But now, I can go three months without getting one and then all of a sudden have a huge whoosh as my insides empty out. And believe me, ain’t no size pad gonna be able to handle that.

And of course, you are totally caught off guard. The old adage still stands btw, if you are planning a vacation or have a physical scheduled, that is when you will get it.

P.S. Don’t let your supply run out yet and keep that spare in your purse too.

4. 10 Freaking Years

Perimenopause Symptoms can start as early as 30 and last anywhere from a few months(who are those bitches) to 10 years. Yes, you read that right. WTF!

5. Weight Gain

The beginning of the middle age spread. Weight gain, apparently, is a common perimenopause symptom. All that work to stay active and eat right my entire life and now my body decides to do double time against me. Give me a break!



I am finally at a point in my life when I can slow down a bit. Great. Now let’s throw in a slower metabolism and hormonal changes to really pack on the pounds.

Check out my post about just when I thought menopause was over…

And this list is just for starters. Facial hair? I just figured out that the bearded lady was only an average woman going through menopause.

Many women experience a multitude of perimenopause symptoms. It’s no wonder they have mood swings. The rest of you are just going to have to deal with that. We deserve to be cranky.

See WebMD for more information about menopause and perimenopause symptoms here.

Feel free to share your experiences with this special time in your life.


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  1. I am SO ready to be on the other side of menopause and free of this hormone roller coaster!!! Especially the super heavy bleeding – I mean, really, how is that much bleeding possible without it being from a serious wound?!?

  2. In my mid 40’s I began having intermittent symptoms of feeling internally hot. I thought I was coming down with an illness or something. Over the last couple of years, I can tell I’m moody but no one else around me can. I have an incredible ability to bite my tongue and smile all the while feel like I have a freakin’ fever. I am still cycling each month but one never knows when the flood gates will open up. Lets add in there, skin changes and wonderful skin tags developing on my neck. I keep going to the dermatologist to have them removed. I might as well buy my own cryotherapy gun just to have on hand every morning when I spot a new tag. Ugh! Someone just tell me when its over.

    1. omg! Bad skin and skin tags! That there’s something I need to add. The list goes on and on and it seems it never ends. I’m still there so I wish I knew when as well.

  3. Elena

    Love reading what you have written.
    I started menapause at 36 hot flushes mood swings all kicked in, I’m 54 now things seem to be ok, but sometimes hot flushes come , as though they’re saying given you a couple of days break !!!
    Sleeping well takes me ages too get off , then I can’t get up In the morning.
    I have been told it gets better I’m just waiting for that day.
    With my love too you all
    Rach xxx

  4. Right there with you! My perimenopause symptoms started about 10 years ago, but because I had my uterus and cervix out in 2008, I have no way of telling where I am on the timeline. My sleep stinks, and the flashes (and fat) just keep on coming… At least we’ve all got each other!

    1. Well aren’t we just the pair! The weight is what I find truly annoying. I am on weight watchers right now and am desperately trying to lose it.

  5. Don’t forget the anxiety and depression symptoms! Rushed to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. Nope! Just an anxiety attack! Then there are times I will be doing something and BOOM! Open the floodgates because I burst into tears for NO reason. I feel like I’m going crazy! Along with vaginally dryness, no desire to have sex, muscle aches, fatigue, brain fog, memory problems, incontinence, and the list goes on. No hot flashes yet but I’m sure they’re a’comin’ ! Ahhh…The joys of being a woman! :-/

  6. I have dealt with most of sll these symptons. An abnormal pap revealed stage 2 uterine cancer and the DR told me that heavy bleeding or periods at or after 50 is the main symptom. Don’t stopped annual checkups.

  7. My periods started at age 9, I am now 48 and have been in peri-menopause for the last 10 years. I used to have horrendous night sweats and began taking I-Cool. I took it for 1 month (kept intending to buy more and forgetting) and never had anymore night sweats. Daytime hot-flashes are another story…the I-Cool did seem to help with them somewhat so I need to start taking it again. My biggest problem is with my memory and just not being able to think clearly, it drives me crazy. I’m constantly forgetting important things, and can hardly hold a coherent conversation with someone because I struggle to search for words I’ve used my whole life…. I’ve been period free going on 5 months now…woo-hoo!!

  8. I have every symptom that you mentioned, plus a few more. My Dr tried to help me with various drugs (which I admit that I was afraid to use, but did use because I was desperate), but was not able to find any that helped. I have heard that diet and exercise help the most. I recently lost “the spread” by following the Ideal Protein diet. Great results and while dieting my menopause symptoms went away. (double pleasure!) I can deal with moods, sweats, weight… but what scares me the most is the memory. Does it get better? Will all of the things that I have forgotten, ever come back? Brain fog is real and it is not fun.

  9. I started my periods when I was 7, Now I’m 43 full on Perimenopause. When will this ever end???? Hot flashes that makes me feel like I live in the Amazon when it’s -10 out side, mood swings from Mary Sunshine to wanting to bite the heads of fluffy bunnies. I can’t lose weight for anything. I’m getting head migraines like crazy.

  10. Omg, Elena! I so totally feel your pain! I started symptoms in my late 30’s. Now at 47, I’m still showing them. The worse ones for me are irregular, gushers of a period, headaches, and sleeping. I am so ready for this crap to be over! Thanks for sharing this! I’m passing it along to all my girlies!

    1. I hope it is over soon for you Brenda. I am up to six months and hope I can pass that one year mark for the official sign of “done”. I have been optimistic several times now before the surprise disappointment. lol Fingers crossed.

    2. Don’t ignore your headaches. I was diagnosed with hormone induced migranes for 2 years. Finally asked for a MRI, a brain tumor! Had surgery right after my 50 birthday. I’m 52 now, fully recovered, still having regular periods, but headaches gone. I have a new doctor too!

  11. Oh yes, the joys of womanhood. Peri at 40, 55 now, flashes, rage swings (the wanna stab you kind), insomnia, horrible monthly gushing (never knew how long pads & tampons would last, sometimes only 20 minutes), forgetfullness, so much fun, NOT! Poor hubby would hide in the basement, hell, I wanted to hide in the basement. Went to doc, she suggested the Mirena, which has worked beautifully. Rage-gone, horrible gushing-gone – but still have spotting, most symptoms have decreased, except flashes and I have fewer sleepless nights. Much to my dismay, still have that beautiful monthly visitor but soooo managable now. People are still alive and I’m not in prison, so that’s a positive, right?!

  12. So far I’ve not had one symptom and I’m 52. My luck I will be in my sixties and still going every month. I enjoyed my pregnancies and had quick easy deliveries, so maybe I’ll breeze thru this part. I can only hope.

  13. I started all this at the age of 34. My doctor refused to believe it was menopause cause i was so young. But i knew exactly what was going on. My mom also went though menopause early. They tested my FSH when i was 36 and it was a 22. She said it should have been about 8 and with a level like that, i should be in full menopause at any time. Now I’m 38 and I’ve gained about 50 pounds over the 4 years. And lucky me, i still have a period every 8 months. Which means I’m not fully done until i go an entire year without one. I finally discovered how wonderful black cohosh is for hot flashes. I only had real bad ones for a couple months early on but i still have them every now and then. And the black cohosh makes them stop immediately. I take it for a couple of days and don’t have to take it again for a long time. I wish i would have taken it years ago when i was up all night soaked with sweat. All of it is definately no fun!

    1. Thank you so much for the tip. My friend went early too and her doc didn’t believe it either till they did the test. I’m hoping to go a year since the last time. Fingers crossed.

  14. I suspect I may be in peri-menopause!! I’m in my mid 40s and recently started with periods that don’t want to end!! They start off heavy for a few days then the rest of the time are light and annoying!! I’ve had night sweats and insomnia for awhile now, but with all the medicine I take for my RA, I’ve just assumed it was that!! Weight gain has been horrible the last six months and I’ve been bloating and gassy!! My poor husband!! One minute I’m lovey dovey and the next, I don’t want him anywhere near me!! I haven’t been to my gynecologist in a few years!! I guess I should make an appointment!! Ugh!!

  15. The worst for me was, and continues to be, the extreme lack of moisture – it makes sex uncomfortable at the least and miserably impossible at worst. I will be going to a new Ob-Gyn in January. Fingers crossed that she can offer more than low-dose estrogen and a half-assed mention that sex is more about one’s mindset.

  16. I’ve been in peri for several years now…I’m only 37. Hot flashes and night sweats are miserable. I sleep with 2 fans on high, and still woke up last night dripping in sweat. I almost cried when the doctor told me. I had surgery at age 29 due to heavy, irregular periods (ranging from every 2 weeks to every 4 months, depending). So, had an ablation. All was well and good. Still had occasional periods, lasting 1/2 day and barely noticeable. Went 3 years without one, then had one 2 weeks ago. WTH?!? Blood work last year showed hormones in normal range for my age. I started using progesterone cream a couple of weeks ago. At least that helped with some of the night sweats.

  17. I have been having hot flashes now for 13 yrs. and since I can’t have kids. I had my internist tell me oh 15 yrs. at least so I only have 11/2 yrs. to go. I hope so, cause this last year I have been so hot. I know what my mom went through. Only she felt like this a lot longer it seemed back then.

  18. been in peri for 12 years and counting. been on estrogen for 1.5 years to help with the rage. Hope to drop that soon but not counting my chicks. also coming off bipolar. your husband maybe has some help with his sleep? I know, different story.

  19. Peri-menopause for me (and my mom) composed of periods every two weeks! Yes, this occurred for many months until the last one consisting of a pale yellowness. Yea! No more. As for those hot flashes, when I wake up during the night (yeah, still having trouble sleeping) and move or roll over, I plan ahead and kick off the blankets and wait for the hot flash which will always occur in about 5 minutes. I’m 65. Life continues to be interesting

  20. I’ve figured out for myself as long as I break a sweat for at least 20 minutes during the day and no wine (ugh!), I get a good night sleep. But I still can’t tame the mid-aged middle spread…i barely eat and I cut out sugar and bread/pasta exercise daily and I’m still spreading….

  21. I always had mood swings, hot flashes, bloating and pretty much everything else from the time I first got my period at 16. When I actually went through menopause a few years ago I honestly had no clue. My FSH levels were the highest my doctor had ever seen! I guess all those years of constant symptoms finally paid off 🙂

  22. Menopause and perimenopause are just the next steps in the “sucks at times to be a woman” part of life. I am still getting my periods but with the middle age spread and a few other ‘fun’ bits thrown in – I’m not sure it’s ever going to end – I figure I could qualify as the oldest living fertile woman if this keeps up (oh joy!)

  23. You’ve hit the nail on the head, exactly what I’m in right now… its rubbish and it can stop n ow please lol. zzzzz

  24. I was glad to get out of the perimenopause stage. Then the big M hit me at age 49 along with power surges EVERY hour. I had read about HRT and talked to my doc and got me on estrogen patch with progesterone. Worked like a charm, but gained a few pounds. Not on HRT anymore but I flash occasionally. Hilarious post but sadly true!

  25. Must admit I’m 50 and still sleeping well – I wonder if I’ve passed the insomnia part to my husband instead?…I’ve always been hot and moodiness…hmm…maybe! LOL! I’ve heard panic attacks are more frequent too – that is a symptom I hate as I used to suffer years ago and I don’t fancy encountering those feelings again.

    1. I wish I could pass that on to him. My husband sleeps like a rock. Literally can fall asleep in seconds flat and be snoring! Which doesn’t help me at all I tell ya.

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