As women enter the transitional phase of perimenopause, it's not just the expected hot flashes and mood swings that may catch us off guard. While those symptoms are well-known, there are some unexpected changes that can take us by surprise during this hormonal rollercoaster. Here are a few we've tallied from a recent poll we sent. Some are the obvious go-to's and some are, well...quite unusual.
Skin changes: Perimenopause can bring unexpected changes to the skin, including dryness, increased sensitivity, acne breakouts, and uneven pigmentation. These changes can catch women off-guard and may require adjustments to skincare routines.
Changes in energy levels: Perimenopause can affect energy levels, with some women experiencing unexpected fatigue, lethargy, or fluctuations in energy throughout the day.
Sleep disturbances: Many women experience sleep disturbances during perimenopause, such as insomnia, night sweats, and vivid dreams.
Mood swings: Perimenopause can cause mood swings, ranging from irritability and anxiety to depression and mood swings.
Changes in body odor: Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause can also affect body odor, causing women to notice changes in how they smell.
Vaginal dryness: Perimenopause can cause decreased estrogen levels, which can lead to vaginal dryness. This can be unexpected and may result in discomfort during sexual intercourse or other physical activities.
Decreased libido: Many women are not aware that perimenopause can affect their sex drive. Changes in hormonal levels and other physical and emotional factors can lead to a decrease in libido.
Cognitive changes: Perimenopause can impact cognitive function, leading to forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and "brain fog."
Changes in menstrual cycle: While irregular periods are commonly associated with perimenopause, some women may experience unexpectedly heavy or prolonged periods, or even skipped periods altogether.
Joint pain: Hormonal changes during perimenopause can also cause joint pain and stiffness.
Increased allergies: Some women may develop new allergies or experience worsening of existing allergies during perimenopause.
Changes in hair texture: Perimenopause can also impact the texture of a woman's hair. Some women may notice changes such as increased hair loss, thinning, or changes in hair texture, such as dryness or frizz.
Urinary changes: Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause can also affect the urinary system, leading to changes such as increased frequency of urination, urgency, or even urinary incontinence.
Changes in body temperature: Perimenopause can cause unexpected fluctuations in body temperature, resulting in hot flashes or cold flashes.
Changes in breast health: Some women may experience changes in breast health during perimenopause, such as increased breast tenderness or lumpiness.
Dental issues: Hormonal changes during perimenopause can also impact dental health, leading to issues such as gum sensitivity, dry mouth, or even tooth loss
Changes in body weight: Perimenopause can also affect body weight, with some women experiencing unexpected weight gain, especially around the waistline.
Changes in sense of smell: Some women may notice changes in their sense of smell during perimenopause, with increased sensitivity or changes in their ability to detect odors.
Changes in vision: Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause can also affect vision, causing dry eyes, blurry vision, or other changes in visual acuity.
Changes in digestion: Perimenopause can also impact digestion, with some women experiencing changes such as bloating, constipation, or even food intolerances.
Changes in body odor: Hormonal fluctuations can affect sweat and sebum production, leading to changes in body odor that may catch women by surprise.
Changes in nail health: Hormonal fluctuations can impact nail health, leading to changes in nail strength, brittleness, or growth patterns.
Changes in eye health: Hormonal changes can affect tear production and eye lubrication, leading to unexpected changes in eye health, such as dryness or discomfort.