Perimenopause Unplugged: Surprising and Unforeseen Changes That Will Leave You Fascinated

Diane Keaton First Wive's Club

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.