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We've all heard that there is a peak age for ovulation; a time when your body is ripe with baby-making magic, and there are eggs as far as the sperm can swim! Well, too bad that age is about 18, and by the time we're actually ready to have babies, your egg count has gone down. Way down...

Contrary to what you may be thinking right now, this post is not meant to freak you out, or make you fall into a series of depression-induced, Ben and Jerry's-related brain freezes. Nope. This information is GOOD to know. Women in their thirties are not thinking about [Link Removed] (the 6-10 years before menopause) can begin as early as 35 years old. Come to mama. I'm here to help.

Perimenopause is the stage of your life that is, unfortunately, home to most of the symptoms we associate with menopause. Menopause is simply defined by the absence of your period for 12 consecutive months. Period. Perimenopause precedes this.

Rapid egg decline (this is what I like to call it) goes like this: fertility is highest between the ages of 18-22. Once you reach 30 years old, it begins to decline. At 35, it has gone down sharply. By the time you reach 40 years old, only about [Link Removed].

So, how do you know if you're in perimenopause? What are some symptoms that you can expect from being in this stage of your life? Brace yourself: the answers aren't all that pretty...

MENTAL/EMOTIONAL
memory lapses (sticky notes aplenty)
overly sensitive
uncontrollable crying
unusually depressed or withdrawn
overall sense that I'm not OK
tense (like a rubber band ready to snap)
overwhelmed
anxious
irritable
bursts of anger
violent
[Link Removed]

PHYSICAL
oddly dry skin
headaches/migraines
exhausted
hair loss
PMS-like bloating
sore or ballooning breasts
increased chin whiskers
deepening voice
pimples galore
[Link Removed] or flushes
night drenches
sleepless nights
heart palpitations
weight gain (shrinking pants)
stiffness, aches, and pains
bladder issues
vaginal infections
excessive vaginal discharge
breakthrough vaginal bleeding
dry vagina (sex hurts)
harder to reach orgasm2

On the plus side of things, women rarely experience all of these symptoms. (Thank you, Mother Nature!) Some women glide right through perimenopause without even realizing they're in it. Just know that if you feel like you're going crazy, you begin to experience weird issues that make you scour the web, late at night, searching for solutions, and you're between the ages of 35-45, then you're probably experiencing perimenopause to some extent, and this is normal. Your friends may not admit it, but they're probably going through it too. The best advice I can give you in these early stages of transition, is to gather your girlfriends (otherwise known as The Sisterhood), and talk. Help yourself and them out by facilitating some perimenopause communication. You'll all be glad you did.

What's that? You're so happy to have found this awesome information that you feel the need to jump up and down and cheer for all to hear? Why not host a [Link Removed]! They're all the rage- and rage is indeed part of perimenopause...

Want to know more about the perimenopause and menopause (PM&M) experience? Pick up a copy of [Link Removed], the first book on menopause of its kind.

Remember: Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT! If you're confused, chances are your friends are, too.

Here are more great links to further perimenopause discussion:
[Link Removed]

1 For more information about fertility, please visit [Link Removed]

Follow Ellen Dolgen on [Link Removed].

 


Shmirshky, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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