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How do I know if I’m in Perimenopause?

Age is definitely just a number when it comes to your hormones, everyone is different and perimenopause can happen at any age. It’s common for people to be in their late 30’s or early 40’s when hormones start changing and there’s no such thing as ‘too young’ for the menopause.

The key things to look out for are:

1. A change in periods – they may get heavier, lighter, further apart or closer together, last less days or more days, and could be totally erratic. 

2. One or more of the following symptoms:


Feeling tense or nervous

Difficulty sleeping

Memory problems

Anxiety, panic attacks

Feeling tired, lacking in energy

Loss of interest in most things

Feeling unhappy or depressed

Crying spells


Feeling dizzy or faint

Pressure or tightness in head



Muscle and joint stiffness, aches and pains

Pins and needles anywhere

Breathing difficulties

Hot flushes

Sweating at night

Loss of interest in sex

Urinary symptoms (urgency, frequency, incontinence, UTIs)

Vaginal dryness, soreness, itch

If you’re interested in topping up your hormones with HRT, it’s a good idea to start tracking your periods and logging symptoms and there are apps for this. Having a record for a few months will really help you when you see your GP or nurse. Evidence shows the earlier you start HRT the better, even if you’re still having periods – don’t wait until symptoms become unbearable.

Having unsettling symptoms and realising you’ve entered this phase of change can be unsettling and many women describe a sense of not being like their normal selves. So give yourself a break at this time. Explain to loved ones, friends and colleagues what’s going on, and how and why things may be different for you. The menopause is not a taboo subject anymore and you will likely find support and understanding. Ask for help when you need to – there’s no prizes for battling through.

If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis...