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What is Premenopause?

A. B. Kelsey
A. B. Kelsey

Premenopause, often referred to as perimenopause, is the phase in a woman’s life just before the onset of menopause, which is when a female’s menstrual cycle permanently ceases. The average age for a woman to begin experiencing premenopausal symptoms is 45, but women as young as 25 and as old as 70 can also exhibit signs of premenopause. The length of premenopause varies from woman to woman, but typically lasts from one to six years.

During premenopause, a woman’s hormone production begins fluctuating and declining, which can cause a wide variety of symptoms. A majority of premenopausal women experience changes in their menstrual cycle. As a woman’s estrogen levels begin to decline, the menstrual cycle may shorten, causing more frequent periods. However, some women begin to have longer cycles and less frequent periods. Some women even skip periods. Despite these menstrual changes, a woman is not considered truly menopausal until she has had no period for twelve consecutive months.

Women begin experiencing premenopausal symptoms around age 45.
Women begin experiencing premenopausal symptoms around age 45.

In addition to menstrual cycle changes, the drop in estrogen levels during premenopause can cause a host of other physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, headaches, vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, and sleep problems. Premenopause can also trigger a variety of emotional changes, including anxiety, irritability, depression, and a sudden inability to handle stress.

Premenopause may cause weight gain.
Premenopause may cause weight gain.

Many physicians feel that premenopause is a good time for females to begin artificial hormone therapy, because the supplements will replace the declining internal supply instead of creating an excess. Some physicians prescribe medications such as Zoloft and Prozac for controlling the emotional changes.

Other clinicians advise more natural ways of dealing with premenopause. A common suggestion is to increase the consumption of calcium rich foods such as milk, cheese, and green, leafy vegetables. Calcium is believed to protect a woman’s body from osteoporosis, emotional swings, and heart disease. Eating a proper diet can also help with the aches and pains associated with premenopause.

A female who feels she is going through premenopause should ask her doctor about starting an exercise program. Regular physical activity is thought to help maintain bone mass, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and help a woman sleep.

Hot flashes are a common physical symptom of premenopause.
Hot flashes are a common physical symptom of premenopause.

Western cultures tend to view premenopause and menopause itself as inevitable, sad hallmarks of aging. This is very unfortunate, because this belief only contributes to the emotional stress of a woman going through this phase of life. Strong, self-confident women who are able to maintain their positive attitudes toward aging and life in general tend to have far less complications during premenopause.

Discussion Comments


I am 52 years old, no kids and I'm down to one ovary. After my ovary was removed, about four years ago, is when I changed completely. I went from being outgoing, social and confident to the point of going places by myself to someone who leaves the house only to go to work. Sometimes I cry for no reason and get angry for the smallest of things at work. I don't like what I've become and just want to be myself again.

This is the first place I've seen where so many ladies are describing exactly how I feel. Ladies, I feel your pain. Don't you wish that somebody who has already been through this would tell us what it's really like on the other side? I mean, is there really an end to all this craziness? Will I be myself again someday?


I would like to get a response. I have had the night sweats, and the hot flashes, and the burning mouth, but what is taking me out of the game is the electric shocks and the constant burning joint and bone pains. I am 49, and received an endometrial ablation to help to ease the heavy and painful periods. I do not know how to cope with the bone pain. I have analgesic cream and ASA. Any suggestions?

I have too much pain for more than 40 minutes of walking or stationary cycling a day. My sleep has been good until recently I am awake from the electric shocks which occur daily with pain lasting sometimes up to 14 hours afterward. Is this normal? Am I a good candidate for HRT?


Glad to hear I'm not crazy either. I'm a working mom, 45 years old, with an awesome husband and three sons, two of them at home. I've gained a little comfort in knowing that it's the change upon me. Saturday I watched a movie and was so emotional that I sobbed. My dear husband just held my hand gently. He's probably thinking I'm falling off my rocker. He seems to love me when I'm not so lovable, which is pretty much all the time.

I have a lot of anxiety, like I don't want to go out of the house. It's been snowing daily for the last month, which I attributed to my depression and my moodiness and now I'm sure the pre-menopause is surely the culprit. My kids think I'm mean because I snap at them for no reason. They're good kids and right now I don't deserve them. I find myself distancing myself from them to protect them. It's wrong on many levels; it's simply a demon I can't seem to slay.

Their school schedules with sports practices and driving school seem to be more than I can manage and adding the traffic, I'm ready for the mental institution. I replay my conversations with them and wear the guilt like you wouldn't believe. The rage just seems to take over me for the smallest of reasons.

I don't deserve my husband, my kids or my family. They certainly deserve better than me. I left for a week in December and they said it was really nice without the yelling. That saddens me. I once had it all together and could seem to juggle anything life brought me all at once. Now I can't seem to get enough sleep and I feel like a "fat slob".

I can't seem to tolerate bread or anything with gluten -- it just makes me itch. Then I'm having trouble getting the fiber in my diet, then I can't seem to go to the bathroom properly. I'm getting the erratic periods, heavy, really heavy, gushing and then it will be light. Going to the bathroom it looks like a massacre happened in the toilet. The cramping is horrific! I take vitamins too and try to eat a balanced diet with lots of spinach. Many things don't taste right, and I don't really eat very much either. I have a thyroid issue and I take synthroid, but it doesn't seem to matter. I'm still over 100 pounds overweight and I don't eat junk food or excessive sugar. Exercise does help, but getting and staying motivated is a challenge. I have the facial hair, body hair and feeling like a freak, pretty much always. My sex drive is a little healthier, but the other stuff makes me feel like I don't measure up.

I refuse to go on any antidepressants because that is just trading in one set of problems for a whole new set. I spent 15 years on Effexor and it took five years of hell to get off them. Natrol 5 HTP is what I'm going to try next. I can't believe I'm just beginning this, and wish it would end. I'm encouraged at least with this post because I don't believe I'm dying -- I just feel like it sometimes.


I am 47 going on 48. I have had hot sweats for years now but these have stopped, My period stopped for four month but then I had two in December. I wake up every morning feeling really crap, everything hurts, I am always sniffly, and have a head ache. I have doubled in weight even though I have changed how and what I eat. I have never really been a patient person but now I have no patience at all, I am moody and get really short tempered. I am really fed up feeling rubbish every day, I do not have the energy or motivation to do anything, I use to clean every day now am lucky if I do it once a week..... Stressing out over stressing out. HELP....


I'm 49 and going through what can only be described as hell.

While I can handle the night sweats, the insomnia, and the strange menstrual cycle, I recently found myself curled up on the bathroom floor at work struggling with what in "normal life" would be just a little bit of stress. (Hindsight makes me realize how crazy and irrational I was.)

I find myself one minute "normal" with my moods, and the next second paralyzed by the rage I feel at the littlest things. (My husband snoring, or just breathing). It's crazy! The rage makes me fantasize in thought about what can only be described as a new best-seller murder mystery. (I laugh now only because I'm having a moment of complete reality and all in the world is good.)

I am grounded in the knowledge that I am not the only woman who is going through this 'process' and wish for us all, inner strength, courage and compassion. I think we all will need it, and certainly all deserve it.


I am 36 and have been having symptoms for the past year and a half: waves of heat from out of nowhere, lasting an indeterminate amount of time; body hair, chest hair, chin hair, cheek hair, arm hair, inner thigh hair, everywhere it gets more plentiful and darker and darker without me doing anything to it. My periods were always debilitating and light, but have gotten more debilitating and last only a few hours (four to six hours) per month with only requiring one medium-light pad (and it is dark flow). I am fairly petite but have been gaining weight all over. I've had my period since I was 8 years old, So is this premenopause? I feel like I am turning into a hairy man with swollen breasts.


I have read many of the posts and I am so glad I am not alone. I am a 49 year old woman and I have been experiencing severe anger outbursts, depression, bloating and awful gas with a foul smell. I also feel that my body smells, breath, everything has a different sort of odor. I do not feel like myself anymore. My hair is dry and nothing looks look on me anymore. I work out faithfully and always have. My stomach seems to stay bloated all of the time despite what I eat. I do not feel good about myself anymore. All I want to do is work, do my faithful workout routine, and go home and avoid people.


@295543, Post 83: I am 45 years old and experiencing the same exact thing: a very strange taste in my mouth, bad smell, oily hair that smells like a sweaty man smell but has a sweet oily smell to it. My hands smell, my hair smells, my face gets oily and smells. It is awful!

I have been researching and found it could have something to do with a lack of zinc and magnesium so I started taking that. It is also related to a hormone that is released and gives off a fatty oil - these are things you never hear about and it is awful. I feel like I smell all the time. My skin is oily and I am getting acne. It is worse than being a smelly, pimple faced teenager. I wish there was a doctor on this blog who could give us a reason for it and a true solution.


I am 43 years old, irritable, cranky and short fused all the time. It's like I have constant pms. My periods are heavy. I'm really thirsty drinking copious amounts of water. I've also noticed my skin along my jaw line is dry, and I normally have normal to oily skin. I'm in two minds about going to the doc to get checked. I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done, or should I just ride this hormonal wave out?


I'm a 29 year old woman and haven't had my period in eight years and I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm trying to conceive a baby and can't seem to get pregnant.The doctors keep telling me I'm in menopause and I don't understand because I'm still young. Can I get treated for this?


I'm age 45 but have been having menopausal symptoms for the past three years, which I believe were brought on by the stress I was going through at the time.

I have always been around 7 stone 7 pounds and I am now 8 stone 10 with a swollen stomach and tender breasts. I get a lot of pain in my hips and ankles and also a strange fluttering pain in my pelvis (normally right sided). My periods are irregular and my scalp often crawls which is really weird. The flushing is not too bad so far.

I try not to get down and keep active. I know I will come out of this eventually but it is very trying and at times I feel as if I'm no longer myself.


I'm 47 years old and my period has not come in four weeks. My breast are getting larger, I'm putting on weight, am bloating and confused. I had a pap smear and an ultrasound. I'm not pregnant and don't have kids. I'm anxious to get my periods back.


I'm 44. I was a happy energetic woman with a very active sex drive, got pregnant, and haven't been the same since I had that baby the day before turning 42! The doctor has put me on four different anti-depressants, and they seem to work for a while and then they don't. I'm an emotional wreak.

Dealing with a two year old and a five year old is more than I can handle some days. I'm not a fun mom or wife, I yell and cry and can't stand who I have become. I have a strong faith in God and I pray about this daily. I just want to be happy again.

My doctor did blood work and said everything was normal, that maybe he needed to turn me over to psych! Grr. My cycle is unpredictable in length and is so much heavier and lasts longer now, too. Reading all of these comments help in knowing I'm not the only one, but I want relief. I don't believe we are supposed to just live like this and deal with it!

I was running, doing weight training, taking cardio classes, and my body just gave out. I was so exhausted by everything, I was worthless, so I just stopped. I'm searching for the answer!


I am 45 years old and for the past five months I have experienced this unusual smell in my body, scalp, hands and even my breath. I don't know if it has to do with hormones, but it's driving me absolutely crazy! I have been to a dermatologist, my own doctor and gynecologist. Nobody knows what it is. I am taking showers two times a day, and just when I come out of the shower the smell comes back.

If anyone has this problem, please leave a comment and let me know what kind of solution you found for it!


I really enjoyed reading this article. See, I began my menopause symptoms at 42 in September 2001. I was out of town when the planes hit the towers and my hot flashes began.

I have tried to deal with my symptoms naturally. Just like the article says, there are ways to decrease symptoms by taking different herbal supplements.


I a 57 years old and have had no periods for 11 months. Then in August 2012, I had a period and three weeks later, I am still bleeding. I have been to the doctor and had a blood test 12 months ago was told I was perimenapausal. I'm just really fed up now and worrying it could be something worse.


I'd like to thank everyone for posting their experiences and letting me know I'm not losing my mind. I just hope that after all this change of life happens, I'll return to the happy, carefree person I once was. I hate this person I've become. I'm depressed, lonely, hyper-sensitive and so quick to anger. Logic tells me it's impossible that all my friends, family, husband, employer and co-workers couldn't all have become idiots overnight. It's good to know there's a reason I'm feeling as I do. I just want it to pass.


I'm 51 years old and have been experiencing these symptoms: anger, rage, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, depression for the past six years. I haven't had a period for 14 months, but this also happened two years ago when I didn't have a period for 15 months and then it returned. I had bouts of it going for six months, then it returned then it was gone for 12 months and then returned.

When will it go for good or how many more years of uncertainty will have I to endure? I am sick of it all.

My doc shows no empathy for what we women have to endure. Did I mention he's male? He says Asian women go through it just like to rest of the female population of the world and they never complain, that it's just part of life and they get on with it and say it's their diet which helps them.

My diet stinks and I've put on a lot of weight, but I can't imagine diet alone will prevent me from wanting to kill everyone around me at times.


I am 47 years old, have never been married and not sexually active. I am in the premenopause stage and I am worrying because for two months, I have had no monthly period and now there's some dark spots on my undies which I think is a part of my monthly period.

I am still studying and have a lot of pressure mentally and physically. I am worried because I'm cramping in my stomach, having hot flashes and I'm irritable and my hand is numb every morning. --candy 0101


I am a 48 year old female who was diagnosed with early breast cancer in 2008. I had two lumpectomies, mammogram site radiation, then Tamoxifen until I was taken off after three years, due to depression. I had maybe three periods per year.

I stopped Tamoxifen in January and my monthly light periods resumed. In May, I had unprotected sex with my husband. I panicked and took two pregnancy tests. Also, I've had two periods since then. I have two children. I'm not sure if I am just paranoid, but I feel pregnant because I'm having enlarged breasts, weight gain, bloating, late period this month, stomach issues (also have IBS). Could it be pregnancy, perimenipause, thyroid condition, tumor or ovarian cancer? Any thoughts, please?


I am 49 years old and for about three years, I have been suffering the most terrible symptoms. I actually feel sometimes as if I'm going mad.

I have terrible down days and horrible headaches. I get a buzzing and ringing in my ears. I could not actually hold a job down now because I cannot handle stress or tolerate the majority of people's attitudes out there. I used to be able to shrug things off, but now I get so angry extremely quickly.

I have had a condition called Globus hystericus (since all this started) and I think I will have it for the rest of my life. It is always there, but is much worse at certain times. I have had several blood tests, all of which come back as negative, so I am putting this down to perimenopause and if it is this, it just scares me that apparently it can last for years.


I'm 47 years old and have not had my period in approximately two months, although I am having all the symptoms of pre menopause: headaches, bloating, nausea, hot flashes, sleepless nights, cramping/bloating and crying for no reason at all.

What's crazy is I have so much energy it's scary, where everyone seems to be complaining of fatigue. I have not taken a pregnancy test and I'm afraid to go to the doctor. Yes, I said it because I do not want to know the truth just yet. I was sexually active once in May. I truly believe that nothing happened. I know that I will have to go soon; I just need time to digest all this. After reading all the other women's stories, it's good to know I'm not alone in this. I'm praying to God that I'm not with child, and if so pray for me.


I am 48 years old. I had pain free periods after having my children in my thirties, but in my forties I started to get cramping pains on the first two days of my period, but they eased off for the last three days. I have recently been getting my period as much as a week early.

I have read the messages here which help to realize that the change is probably happening! I must admit I have felt a little more depressed than usual before the period arrives! I do try to go swimming as much as I can, and I am sure that exercise can only be a good thing to try and incorporate in my life now. It can help with your mood and how you feel and generally make you feel better about yourself. If possible, I would recommend it to everyone.


@anon274115: I'm not a doctor, but it could be premenopause. It could also be a thyroid issue. Make a doctor's appointment and get a hormone blood test, plus also ask for a complete thyroid panel, which includes your TSH, T1 and T3 levels. Low thyroid levels can also cause a lot of these symptoms -- personal experience, here. And even if you are in premenopause, if your thyroid is also low, that's just making bad matters worse. You'll feel at least some better if your thyroid levels are straightened out.

If you can, also try to get a short walk in each day. That will help you with your panic and anxiety. Good luck!


I am 43 and a mother of four. I thought I was losing my mind. Anxiety is my big thing. I don't seem to be able to handle my job anymore, even though I've been doing it 20 years. I panic about things, my husband is driving me mad (we've been married 15 years). He's the same person. It's me who is nuts, I think!

My periods are coming three to four days earlier than my usual 28 days. I have facial hair and thinning hair also, and my fatigue and rages are really bad. Could anyone tell me if this is perimenopause?


I am 45 and have experienced most of these symptoms for the past two to three years. My doctor did a blood test to check my hormone levels, but because that came back within normal range, she just brushed it off, and made me feel like I was going nuts. Can you be premenopausal even though it doesn't show in your blood test yet?


I am 48 years old and having all the symptoms listed. I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the ladies who have posted here. At least now I know I am not alone. God bless.


I am 40 years old and my cycle stopped at the beginning of April this year. Is it normal?


I can't take it. I'm 45, and having nightly hot flashes, mood swings, no energy, the worst cycle pain I ever had in my life. At times it flows like water and I don't sleep anymore. What's going on?


I am 50 and have not had a period for five months after stopping birth control pills. I have hot flashes and vaginal dryness that I can handle, but the all over body pain is terrible. Anybody out there experience chronic body aches and pains? Did they go away after some time? Did you have to take HRT or bcps?


I started feeling all the things listed last year especially. It all of a sudden had gotten so bad for me. I didn't know what was wrong, why I was so sad and depressed every single day. I would have such anxiety and I'd shake while putting on makeup every day. I couldn't handle anything anymore and was a wreck! My family didn't like me very much and I hated how I felt.

I knew it had to be hormonal so I researched. I now (since Dec 2011) have been taking Natrol 5 HTP and I have to tell you that two hours after I took it, it kicked in and I have felt like myself again! I am not that miserable, sad person with major anxiety or sleep problems anymore! It was all brought on by hormones and I didn't want to go on anything prescription. All of the reviews were fantastic and I sleep like a baby now! During PMS we don't even know I have it because I have none of the symptoms anymore (mood swings, anxiety).

Please research this. They have it at Costco and the drugstore, grocery stores, etc. People have even posted that they feel great on it compared to the way they felt on prescriptions. It is an all natural pill. It has been amazing and I take one in the morning and one at night. I am so upbeat and happy and silly like my old self again during the day and when I sleep, I sleep so great compared to always waking before I started taking it!

Doctors just hand out prescriptions and send us on our way. This natural pill is great! Good luck! You won't be sorry! I feel as good as I did in my 20's and early 30's!


I am 45, and have no hot flashes. My skin is itching, I have a stomach ache, and periods for 25 days, or, 38 days. I think the time is up, and I am experiencing it, great!


I am 49, got the coil in July to stop heavy bleeding during my period; it lasted up to 15 days. The bleeding stopped after six weeks, and I would recommend the same. I feel I am pre menopausal, though. I'm crying, tired, cranky and am having night sweats.


I am 43 and since I turned 36, I have had hot flashes,headaches, dizziness, severe aching all over my body especially my arms and legs. I haven't had a period but one time this year. I had blood tests and was told it could be fibromyalgia. I asked the doctor if it could be menopause, but she said I am too young. After reading all these other posts, I think it could be menopause.

I get so tired. I lie down thinking I will close my eyes for five minutes, and three hours after, I wake up. I get eight hours of sleep almost every night. help? what is this?


@anon211351: I don't think you're experiencing early menopause. Your constant thirst is the signal. I'd be willing to bet you're diabetic. Excessive thirst is one of the hallmark signs.

Before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I felt horrible all the time. I was depressed, irritable and felt like I was walking around in a fog. However, once I was diagnosed, got on medication, got my diet straightened out and got my blood glucose levels to a more normal level, I felt so much better, I can't even describe it. The constant thirst was gone and I lost 80 pounds.

Get yourself checked out by a doctor. If you're diabetic, start eating healthy and get your blood glucose regulated. I can almost guarantee you'll feel better in just three or four months. You can live a healthy, normal life with diabetes, if you keep your glucose regulated. Good luck.


It's horrible to read it. I got confused. I am 24 years and have been having all these signs for three months. I have negative feelings all the time and fee life is even more stressful than usual. I am unable to handle it. Somebody please tell me what to do. Is marriage preferable in this condition and I am still a virgin.

I do not know what to do with my life now.

God, please help me or take me from this world. Constant thirst is another thing happening to me.


What is there about menopause that is full of promise and possibilities except that you may get overly hot and stop yourself down to near nothing, with a body that looks like you are carrying an inner tube around your waist, and if someone comes off wrong to you, you may even punch them. What is good about all this? I don't want a second adulthood, thanks, childhood maybe, but how is this even anything positive?


I'm 46 and feel like someone else older inside of my body. I have a tumor on my pituitary gland and this was making me feel like I was having a baby, but now I feel like I am drowning. I can't breathe, have no patience, and stink and am sticky when I wake from my three hours of sleep. The gas, will it go away? Every time I lean over, my son says mommy is going to make the house stink again. Funny, but true. I want to cry for no reason, I am not nice, and I don’t want to do anything except sit and look at TV.


I am 47 going on 48 and I have been suffering from a heavy period for the last five years. Now they are coming a week to ten days early. The tests were normal and I have just been prescribed Tranexamic tablets to be taken only during the heavy bleeding days. They seem to be helping me and have improved my life in a lot of ways. But I am still going through stress and anxiety over little things in life, and I feel that I have been nasty to my children and truly unlike myself at times, which makes me miserably guilty later. Hope to be able to control this soon.


I'm turning 42 in november. I've been experiencing nervousness. Is this a part of premenopause too? --fbnrs


I am 40 years old. I started missing periods three years ago. They come and go. I went to the doctor last year and he diagnosed me with polycystic ovarian syndrome; in fact, I had three big ones.

However, I was feeling hot flashes and all these horrendous symptoms some of us have had experienced. I was afraid because I felt relatively young for menopause, but reading all your comments helps me to understand that it is not as uncommon as I thought.

However, it also leads me with the impression that our new ways of living are pushing women to go to this cycle earlier than it was used to be.

Well, this web helps us to support each other and to go through this cycle of our lives with dignity and strength. I guess once we realized we are going through and we accept the fact, the symptoms are less aggressive.

To all of you who have shared your experiences, thanks.


I am 20 years old and I've been through so much with my irregular periods. I started my period when I was 11 years old. It went on for nine months and it almost killed me. My hemoglobin was very low and I needed blood.

I’d never experienced a normal or regular cycle. I’m gaining weight fast and it's driving me crazy. My doctor told me that I need to lose weight in order for me to regulate my cycle. I've been trying for nine years now and still no changes. There are times where I am really emotional, angry, and irritated and all I think about is death.

I've seen bad changes in my life. Things aren't the same anymore and I don’t know why. The year 2007, 2009, and 2010 are the years that I didn't bled at all. I feel bloated all the time. I am always hungry and thirsty for something sweet. I kept telling myself that everything is OK but deep down I know it’s not. My mother even notices the changes in me.

I’m not patient anymore and I can’t handle being stressed out. My whole life I was known as the strongest and toughest out of all the girls in my family. Now, I am forgetting things easily meaning I’m sometimes don’t remember where I put my belongings. I feel so lost and out of this world.

I want to feel normal and healthy inside and out. I am on a diet now and I am hoping and wanting to lose more than 50 pounds. Hopefully, there’ll be a way for me and all of you to feel normal inside and outside.


I'll be 43 in a couple months and I've been experiencing tender breasts, bloating and shorter cycles since last year. I also notice that I've been very fatigued lately. My cycle is about 5 days late. I took a pregnancy and thank God it's negative. I plan on taking another one just to be sure. I'm really hoping that these are premenopausal symptoms.


Thank God for you ladies and your honest comments! I'm 45 and for the first time in my life have skipped two of the last four periods. I'm so emotional it's ridiculous! I cry at the drop of a hat but I'm not depressed! Like other ladies, I am so forgetful these days! I suppose the hardest part is feeling less womanly, less youthful. Although logically what does that have to do with messy tampons and cramps and whatever!


I am 43 years old and I am experiencing most of these symptoms for months now.

I haven't had my period for more than one month now. I used to have 28 days cycle. But recently I noticed it has become irregular, last March I had an early menstruation that it fell on a 15 days cycle. I used to have hyperthyroidism but now I have gained so much weight. I try to exercise everyday but I am still gaining. Is this premenopausal? I am also thinking am I pregnant but I took a test twice which both showed negative. Can someone please advise me what to do?


I am a 46 year old mum and I have just read many of the posts that have been put on this wall and I have been suffering these symptoms since I was 40, when all of a sudden, my cyclevwas spot on every month but very, very heavy, especially the first two days.

I would get so angry and irritable. Any little thing would set me off in a rage so much so that it affected my marriage. I am on anti depressant tablets and they have helped a great deal, but every month about two weeks before my period, I would fly off the handle at everything and everybody. No one could look at me without a dirty look or comment. It got to the stage where I couldn't stand it anymore.

I kept telling my doctor about these symptoms: the night sweats, the migraines, the irritability,

the bloating, anxiety, etc., but he always shrugged it off and gave me valium, which made me feel so tired and out of it. They would last at least two hours, then it all came back like an explosion.

Well last week, I'd had enough. I was sick and tired of fighting with my 18 year old son. We'd had

an enormous argument that morning and afterward, I felt like a real cow. I could be terribly

nasty and hurtful, so I decided as a last ditch effort to go the our local herbal shop.

I went in and just burst into tears. The naturopath was great. She told me that what I was experiencing and had been for years was premenopausal symptoms, and she put me onto to these herbal tablets. One is called Harmony Menopause and the other is endo fem. She suggested I take one of each tablet

twice daily. I quickly took these home and started taking them immediately. This was about 1:00 that

afternoon and no lie, by 10:00 that night, all my symptoms vanished and everything was calm and serene. I couldn't believe it. I asked her how long it was expected for this treatment to work and she said up to seven days. For me, it took only three hours.

I have had no bloating. no breast soreness, no anger. It was all gone. I couldn't believe it. They are wonderful. That night, I slept right through the night for the first time in years. I started my period today and I started taking the tablets three days ago and I am feeling the best I have felt in years: calm and in control.

I have yet to tell my doctor about this. I wonder what he is going to say. I am not about to stop, as I wouldn't change the serenity in my mind at the moment for anything.


I am 43 years old and lately i am experiencing strong anxiety and stomach indigestion, I have a strong feeling I am having a perimenopause symptom. I can't face any normal everyday problem in life, little things seem to be so complicated. I have a dizzy head every day and find it very hard to concentrate at work. I keep on telling myself to be calm. that's the only thing that i could do and remind myself to be strong.


I was just diagnosed as premenopausal. My doctor determined it with a Prolactin blood test. I have not had a regular cycle in 10 years, but have been cycling for over a month now which is what prompted me to go to my doctor in the first place.

I am lucky to say that I have not experienced the night sweats and hot flashes yet, but the forgetfulness, lack of being able to handle stress well, and my emotional levels have been out of whack for a good many years. I wanted to post here to let all women know if they are questioning if they are going through perimenopause that it is the blood test of your Prolactin levels that helps determine if you are indeed pre/post menopausal.

I hope this helps many of you, and if your doctor does not agree with the test, find someone who will. You are totally in the right to want to know why you feel the way you do.


@anon161845: Please have your health care provider check your thyroid manually. He or she will just need to feel your throat, to see if you have any nodules on your thyroid. I had a huge nodule on my thyroid, which ended up having to come out, but in the two weeks since surgery, I've been a slug, exercise-wise, but have dropped two pounds.

Just saying that getting your thyroid levels checked and having it checked manually is never a bad idea, and when you get your levels stabilized, I'm betting you'll feel a whole lot better!


I am turning 49 and have hypothyroid and have been wondering if I was going through depression. I've been crying, sweating at night only around my neck, but just feeling like I couldn't hold things together, out of whack. My hair was thinning. My boyfriend has said that I have changed, snapping at him but I don't realize it.

My cycles are still about 28 days, but now that I think of it, the last month before starting Nuvaring my cycles were late. At least I thought by a week. Now (light bulb) It could be thyroid and premenstrual.


I'm 46 and my bleeding stopped september 2009. i then got a bleed january 2011 that lasted seven days. never had one that long, ever. I've suffered depression on/off all my life so when i feel emotional not sure if it's menopause.

I've lost 44 kgs since april 2009 and without a period. I'm the happiest person alive. bring on menopause. I'm excited.


I'm 45, divorced with two young kids. It's very frustrating because of my healthy sex drive without a sexual partner or a date. My periods are regular. Just happens also that my current physical and mental health conditions are better than ever by doing yoga, exercising, eating better, etc.

It's ironic because I was at my worst when being married and having a husband. Low or no sex drive, fatigue, overweight, depression, and so on.

Feast or famine? Or it just proves that one cannot have everything. LOL


I am 46 and since 2006 I have been experiencing weight gain, lack of sleep,mood changes hot flashes and I haven't had a period in six months. The worse part of this is I have been to so many gyn specialists and no one ever said, when I asked if it could be perimenopause. So basically I have been on my own. just researching online helps me get answers. --Bronx, NY


I am a 31 year old woman with no children. If I'm experiencing these symptoms now, will my chances of motherhood diminish?


I am 40 yrs.old and have not had my period for seven months and Voila, its back. Just after X-Mas, as if I didn't have enough to deal with, it starts all over again,{aches and pains everywhere}. Don't giveth and taketh back. I say it's simply not fair, and want to know what's up. Go away old period, and don't come back, no more. I just want to know what to expect. this uncertainty just stinks. Help!


It's so good to hear that other people are experiencing similar symptoms, and like someone else says, I feel now that I'm not going nuts!

My big problem is feeling anxious and wanting to go poop very often! It's embarrassing! I'm 44 years old, and today I made my doctor's appointment.

I have also experienced forgetfulness, depression, loneliness, and a very upset stomach. My periods have shortened in length and flow, and I think they are also coming more irregularly. They've always been on the point every 28 days, but now they seem to come either earlier or later. I also feel that my heart is racing like crazy sometimes.

I can't wait to tell my doctor. Let's help one another to stay positive, and do what we can to take it in with pride! Music and dancing seem to help me a lot. Of course getting together with friends and family! Will report back later! Take care ladies!


I'm in my late 40's, and had UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization) a year ago. Should've had it sooner, because I don't have the scary heavy bleeding and bloating I once had. I also Have hypothyroidism and take Armour Thyroid, take iron tablets.

Cycles are coming on closer together, but monthly. Bleeding heavy one day out of five or six day cycle. I experience forgetfulness, cold nature, and other discomforts. Be encouraged, and go to your doctor to get examined. But, know that you aren't alone and we are victorious.

Go through this season of life with grace and sing songs to yourself, and think on good things that has happened in our lives. I can't watch action shows. I watch game shows and comedy. This helps me tremendously. Just know that you are special. If men had to go through this, Lord help. Oh yes, I pray daily and solicit the Lord's help. He won't put any more on us than we are able to bear. We'll need to help our daughters, nieces and grands when their time comes. Finish strong!


I am a 25 year old woman with premenopausal symptoms. I am having hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, mood swings, depression.

I have two children and i can't seem to have fun with them. I just want to sit around like i have very little energy. I can't sleep at night and my mood swings are putting pressure on my relationship. I have had blood tests done and just waiting on results.

Is it normal to get these symptoms at my age? Does it mean i will go through the menopause early?


i am 45 years old and i get my cycle every two weeks. my breasts are so tender i can hardly touch them. i sweat a lot during the day as well as all night long. I'm very moody -- so moody i can't stand myself sometimes. what do i do? this is a terrible way to feel. i can't stand it -- cold one minute, sweating like mad the next.


just was told last week that I'm just starting. I feel rough with constant bleeding and the m.acid pills have bad side effects of their own. I always had bad pms controlled by diet but all i crave is sweet stuff now along with the carbs. I have lank hair and am so tired. I agree I need to stay positive but it feels already out of control. what's the magic formula please?


I'm 40 and had a tubal ligation about eight yeas ago. Just last month I skipped my cycle but I keep experiencing cramps, tender breasts and anxiety about every two weeks. I had tests but doc said results are normal.

However, after reading these posts, I'm starting to think otherwise. I exercise five to seven times a weeks so my weight is balanced but I have noticed more facial hair than usual. Boyfriend thinks I'm pregnant but I don't. I guess time will tell all.


I am 42 years old and I have been experiencing hot flashes for the past 10 years. I have recently begin craving sweets so badly.

I have always been about 103 pounds and notice that my weight has constantly increased since about 40 I'm at about 113 pounds now.

I have trouble sleeping, focusing, doing activities, and I always feel depressed. What is happening to me. I feel so horrible! I have five children and don't have energy to enjoy them nor my husband. --teardrops


I am 37, and have been feeling ill lately with a combination of stomach aches/back aches, fever,(or hot flushes) and more depressed and irritable than usual. I think I might be premenopausal, but I haven't had a period in six years (due to having the contraception, Implanon) so it is hard for me to compare my symptoms with others. Going to the doctor tomorrow.


I am 38. I have always had heavy periods that last a week since I was a teenager. I have had three kids and had my tubes tied four years ago.

The past six months I have either skipped a month or had very heavy bleeding and large clots. This month was almost a month late and I started off very light for five days, then heavy for 13 days and now I've been spotting every day since going on 25 days total. I have also gained weight out of the blue. Just annoyed!


as I read all the comments posted, I feel comforted that I am not alone. I have all the typical symptoms and honestly thought I was going crazy.


I'm 47 and for the last three months my periods have been coming 10 days early. No other problems to mention, but I think it's cool to be going through this like many women have done before. Now it's my turn!


I totally agree Somerset. We should try to embrace this part of our lives and trust that everything will be well.

God created us and had a huge part in this stage of our lives.


I am 48. Here lately I have been feeling very sad and want to cry. I have a good husband but lately he has been getting on my nerves. He is not doing anything different. My periods have gone from five days to three. They are very heavy for two days then almost nothing on day three. I think I am in perimenopause. I am going to the doctor in the next couple of days. These feelings are so ugly to me. I am usually good at stress, but not lately.


I'm 48 and have severe cramps, with hardly any period at all. It feels like it is "stuck" in my uterus if you know what I mean! I also have a history of PCOS, endo and am hypothyroid! So who knows what this is, they are checking my LH levels. My testosterone was up also at last visit. I am fed up!


I am 32 and had an FSH test performed, and the FSH test results confirmed I am going through perimenopause. I have no children but am going to try anyway.

I have also had all of the typical symptoms like restlessness, waking up in the middle of the night, weight gain and hot flashes. It has been helpful talking to others who have or are going through this also.


My period stayed away for about six months, and returned about a month and a half ago. Is it perimenopause? Am experiencing a bit of hot flashes, irritability, depression, anxiety and mood swings. I'm only 35 years old, and the mere thought of going through this is kind of driving me insane!


I am 47 years of age. I used to have night sweats and hot flashes, but they have ceased. Now each month when my period comes on, the cramping becomes worse. The bleeding is heavier with lots of clots, and it stays on longer.

Being a nurse, I figured that I am probably premenopausal. This can be very stressful. Will be contacting my physician in reference to what can be done other than hormonal meds to stop this problem.


I'm 48 and I have a regular period but it is always heavy on the first two days probably due to my fibroids. It just happened all of a sudden and lately, I feel so depressed to be at home, I can't think straight and have been very forgetful with things. I can't sleep even when I'm tired. I feel so restless.

I need people to talk to me and having friends around makes me feel better but the moment I'm at home again, I start to feel depressed again. I wonder these are perimenopausal symptoms. --lmf


I heard on the radio 5-10 years ago a woman was talking about menopause, this is what she has said. It doesn't matter if you had a hysterectomy or not -- you still go through the change of life in your early 20's.


I am 47, have had really irregular periods and very heavy bleeding, unable to leave house when it starts. Was told last year start of the menopause, joy!

Also feeling very depressed and irritable, would like to crawl into a dark hole and stay there. Have no time for my husband & children. Can I get any help for this?


i am only 25 years old and the mother of three. I had a tubal ligation 16 months ago. my periods have always been very easy, short and always on time. like clockwork.

The last two months I'm having very heavy, painful periods every two weeks. I'm having hot flashes all the time and am very moody/stressed. This morning i woke with horrible stomach cramping and nausea. Could i be premenopausal? btw, no insurance here.


In 2007 because of heavy periods I had the Nova Sure procedure. I thought this was the best thing that ever happened to me: no more periods! Fast forward. I was recently diagnosed as being in perimenopause. It started about three weeks ago. I got a severe stomachache and I thought I had food poisoning. The feeling of hot and dizzy took over me for two days.

A few days later I kept getting the hot flashes and thought wow are these hot flashes. I went to the doctor last week and received the news. For two days I did not tell a soul. I was feeling "old". I had to adjust to this new milestone.

My physician prescribed hormone therapy but I am afraid to take the drug because of the side effects. I am not sure what to do but I do know I do not like the hot flashes, the ability to lose focus, the weight gain, etc. I keep telling myself to snap out of this. I am just turned 43 and I am feeling awful.


I am in my fourth year of this. Like most women, I am tired of it. There is a new procedure called Nova Sure that does help with the bleeding. I will be talking to my doctor about this procedure.

I do not recommend hormone replacement for all women. I've had a stroke in my past (I was 22!), so this would be a no-no for me or for anyone else with a history of stroke. -Shelly H


I am 53 still getting a period every month, hot flashes, night sweats, can't get into a deep sleep before my period is due, when will this end.


Wow! I'm 45 and I've been forgetting things that were just said to me. I've had headaches, cramps (which I never had after I gave birth at 25) and really heavy gushing periods (which I never had before and that it freaked me out).

I treated the symptoms independently since they never seemed to occur around the same time. I never thought that it could possibly be perimenopause.

I started putting the pieces together after I spoke with my old college roommate. The article and your comments have been really helpful. At least now I know that I'm not going nuts. Thank you.


I just turned 30 a few months ago, skipped a period, had all signs and symptoms of feeling pregnant with three negative pregnancy tests, and went to the doctor and found out that I'm going through perimenopause.

I feel I'm too young to be going through this and am scared because I have three young children and a husband who is supportive, but not sure how I am going to handle it.


i had a blood test and it has revealed that I'm perimenopausal as i have been having very heavy, irregular periods so bad and gushing that I'm unable to leave my house because of it and every time my period comes now, i fear it with dread and am so scared as it just keeps getting heavier each time i have them.


i am 46, not had period for about a year. went to my doctor last year and was told I'm perimenopausal. i have hot sweats, can't sleep, pain in my foot, weight gain, breasts are tender. is this normal? i feel fed up with myself i am going to my doctor again because no period and feeling not myself can't be right.


I am going on 45 this year and up until now my menstrual cycle was on point every 21 days.

Now I am beginning to start noticing that my periods are not starting in this same cycle but is now extending past it, like beyond day 21. I had experienced night sweats, nothing too bad, but it would only occur a few days before my actual cycle would start.

Just recently, I had bad cramps and a slight backache with breast tenderness but still no cycle, which again is beyond the time it was supposed to start. Is this the onset of perimenopause?


I am 40, going on 41 next month. I've just been told this afternoon by my doctor that i am premenopausal. I haven't had a period in two months and I'm suffering from hot flashes every day.


I am 46 have not had my period for eight months. i suffer from hot flashes and sweat. but now i feel pain in my back and cramps. is that normal?


I am 51 and I have not had a period in nine months and it came on this week. The cramps have been very intense as is the bleeding. It flows like urine when I go to the bathroom but it is blood and some clots. Is this normal or should I be concerned?


Remember Ladies: Postiive thoughts go a long way.


I am 45 and have not had a cycle in five months. Is this common?


my boyfriends mother is experiencing pre menopause, I was just interested in any comments on how relatives or close friends should handle this situation. for example is this something that can be talked about openly or more or less i should sit back and just try to be supportive.


It is interesting how women have different experiences through this passage, but the experiences vary even more among different cultures. This is an important part of life, it is really the beginning of second adulthood, full of promise and possibilities.

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    • Women begin experiencing premenopausal symptoms around age 45.
      By: Yuri Arcurs
      Women begin experiencing premenopausal symptoms around age 45.
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