Peri-menopause is a new word in my dictionary.  I’ve always known about menopause, but this peri-menopause or premenopause is the early stages of the well-known menopause. To me, menopause is something that happens to older ladies. Much older ladies; so I thought. Peri-menopause is the beginning stages of the dreaded menopause and usually starts in a woman’s forties, which I am just embarking on.  When my mom started this process, I was in my twenties and the forties were many, many years away. I was young and just starting my life. I couldn’t imagine myself in my forties. I still cannot believe I am as old as I am. I feel so much younger than I am and honestly, I am not ready to face menopause or this peri-menopause I am just starting to experience.

I started reading WebMD’s website on peri-menopause to learn about the symptoms and what I can do to help minimize it.  Some symptoms women may experience are:

  • Hot flashes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Worsening of premenstrual syndrome
  • Decreased libido (sex drive)
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
  • Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing
  • Urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently)
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping

Some of the natural things you can do to help relieve some of these symptoms are things I have been trying to do all along. They are steps that I try to take on my fitness journey daily anyway.  It reinforces how important good habits and healthy eating and exercise benefit you in so many ways. Some suggestions for premenopausal relief:

  • Exercise
  • Stop smoking if you smoke
  • Get more sleep
  • Decrease the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Get to a healthy weight and stay there
  • Take a multivitamin supplement and ingest enough calcium
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water each day

So as the reality of peri-menopause starts to sink in, I will do my best to continue on my fitness journey and not give into laziness and junk food.  It is something I struggle with daily. Now I have yet another reason to turn things around and get fit.