Last week I woke early in the morning to make breakfast. It’s usually my favorite time of the day, especially when everyone else is still asleep. I can listen to my favorite 80s music on the radio while I whip up pancakes or cinnamon rolls. This particular morning the skies were cloudy and the house was cool and quiet. Then the teakettle whistled and this irrational anger began to flow through me. My thoughts turned dark. Why do they get to sleep in while I have to make everyone breakfast? When is it my time to relax? Then the sweating began. Within 20 seconds I was drenched. I ran outside to cool down. Sitting in the terrace, close to tears, I was unsure where all this was coming from.
Then I remembered. I’m turning 46 next week. Menopause is just around the corner. It’s the time so many women dread. The stage in our lives when we no longer menstruate and our reproductive organs shut down. However, though it’s not something many of us look forward to, it’s not something to fear. As with anything knowledge is power.
There are several stages a woman must go through before she reaches menopause. The stage just before, and the one associated with the most common symptoms, is called perimenopause. Every woman will experience this transition to menopause differently. Some lucky few will sail through it with barely a hot flash, while others may struggle with severe symptoms for years.
Some consider menopause and the symptoms that come with it as something to fear. I tend to think of it more with relief. The irrational anger, the leaking after exercise, the anxiety, the feelings of depression and utter loneliness, these are not faults within me. They are merely symptoms, just like a sore throat is a symptom of a cold. I can deal with them and they will not define me. That angry person I became early one morning is not me. I realize it’s just a symptom and it’s just something I have to get through with support from family and friends and lots of reading.
Here is a list of the six most common perimenopause symptoms you may expect.
1) Hot flashes and night sweats
No one knows the exact reason hot flashes occur, but many believe it’s related to changes in circulation.
2) Urinary leakage
Due to an irritation of the urethra and weakening of the pelvic floor some women may experience forms of incontinence. Fortunately, thanks to technology (such as Carin’s revolutionary smart underwear), pads and adult diapers are quickly becoming a thing of the past!
3) Vaginal dryness and decreased libido
Just when you no longer have to worry about getting pregnant, you no longer feel like having sex. There is hope however. Several studies show that having a strong pelvic floor not only helps curb urinary leaks, it also increases sensation and sexual satisfaction. A win-win!
Another unfair symptom. You spend all day feeling tired, but spend the night tossing and turning, leading to feeling tired all the next day.
5) Anxiety, moodiness and increased PMS symptoms
The extreme emotions can be scary because there is no cause. You can be depressed one day, euphoric the next and full of rage another day with no cause to explain any of these emotions.
6) Loss of confidence and feelings of invisibility
Women at this stage are often at a crossroads. We still see ourselves as young and vibrant, but the image in the mirror and the changes we experience in our bodies leave us scared and unsure. Often we lose a sense of ourselves and will struggle to recreate a sense of identity. Though it may seem superficial, a new haircut, dress or pair of shoes can go a long way to boost self-esteem. What you wear under your clothes is just as important. Carin underwear is not only functional it’s also beautiful and feels great against your skin, and feeling sexy is always a great confidence booster!