You Don’t Have To Worry About Menopause Yet, Do You?
As a woman, there is a time in your life where your ovulation is at its peak, and your body is in its best possible state of wellness for making babies. Unfortunately, the age you reach that peak is around 18, and by the time you’re ready for a little person in your life, your egg count has gone way down. So if 18 is the beginning of the reproductive end, when do you need to worry about the health concern of menopause?
If you’re in your thirties, chances are you haven’t given much thought to how menopause will affect your wellbeing. However, perimenopause, which is the 6-10 years before menopause, can begin as early as 35 years old. This stage of your life is home to most of the symptoms you associate with menopause, whereas menopause itself is simply defined by the absence of your period for 12 consecutive months.
Your egg decline timeline works like this: you are at your most fertile between the ages of 18-22, and it begins to decline once you reach 30. At 35, it has gone down sharply, and only 40% of 40 year-olds are able to conceive without medical intervention. This is because, at 40, your body is spring cleaning your reproductive system and getting ready for perimenopause, if it isn’t already there.
There are some not-so-pretty symptoms that can indicate whether or not you’re in perimenopause. On the mental and emotional side of things, you can experience memory lapses, overt sensitivity, uncontrollable crying, unusual depression or sense that you are not OK, tension, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, irritability, bursts of anger, feelings of violence and a low sex drive.
In terms of physical symptoms, perimenopause brings oddly dry skin, headaches and migraines, exhaustion, hair loss, PMS-like bloating, sore or ballooning breasts, increased chin whiskers, deepening voice, spots, hot flashes or flushes, night drenches, sleepless nights, heart palpitations, weight gain, stiffness, aches, and pains, bladder issues, vaginal infections, excessive vaginal discharge, breakthrough vaginal bleeding, and a dry vagina that hurts during sex and cannot orgasm easily.
The good news is that you won’t experience all of these symptoms, and you might even glide right through perimenopause without even realising what’s happening. Just know that any symptoms you have like this are normal between the ages of 35 and 45, and you can get through it all a lot more easily if you talk to your girlfriends who are going through the exact same thing.