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12 Perimenopause and Menopause Struggles & Ways to Overcome Them

Perimenopause and Menopause Struggles Posted On
Posted By Eve A

Menopause, the natural transition marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years, can be a challenging journey fraught with physical, emotional, and psychological struggles. As hormone levels fluctuate, women may experience many symptoms that can significantly impact their daily lives. However, with the right strategies and support, these struggles can be effectively managed, allowing women to navigate this phase confidently and gracefully.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the common physical, emotional, and psychological struggles associated with perimenopause and menopause.
  • Explore practical tips and strategies to alleviate menopausal symptoms and improve overall well-being.
  • Recognize the importance of self-care, lifestyle adjustments, and seeking support during this transitional phase.
12 Perimenopause and Menopause Struggles

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

The struggle is real! Hot flashes and night sweats are among the most common menopausal symptoms, affecting up to 80% of women. These sudden feelings of intense body heat can be disruptive and uncomfortable, often leading to restless nights and fatigue.

Ways to Cope: Dress in breathable layers, use cooling devices like fans or ice packs, and practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to help manage hot flashes.

Mood Swings and Emotional Ups and Downs

Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause and menopause can cause mood swings, irritability, and emotional volatility. This emotional roller coaster can strain relationships and impact overall well-being. “I’ve been mad before, but nothing compares to the rage I experienced. To avoid negative consequences with others, I had to isolate myself for weeks. I had to ask my doctor for help, as I couldn’t cope on my own” – Eve.

Positive Way: Regularly exercise, prioritize self-care activities like yoga or journaling, and seek support from loved ones or a therapist to navigate these emotional challenges.

Sleep Disturbances

Many women experience sleep disturbances during menopause, including insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, or waking up frequently throughout the night. This can lead to chronic fatigue, decreased productivity, and a diminished quality of life.

Ways to Cope: Establish a consistent sleep routine, create a cool and comfortable sleeping environment, and avoid stimulants like caffeine close to bedtime.

Weight Gain and Metabolism Changes

Metabolic changes during menopause can lead to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. This can increase the risk of health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. “The symptoms flood all at once; it is hard to keep your head straight and manage your mood and weight at the same time. It hurts when people will only point out how much weight you have gained but don’t sympathize with what you are going through” – Eve.

Positive Way: Adopt a balanced diet rich in whole foods, engage in regular physical activity, and consider working with a nutritionist or personal trainer to develop a tailored plan.

Vaginal Dryness and Discomfort

Declining estrogen levels during menopause can cause vaginal dryness, leading to discomfort, irritation, and painful intercourse. This can significantly impact intimate relationships and overall well-being.

Ways to Cope: Use vaginal lubricants or moisturizers, consider hormone replacement therapy (under medical supervision), and explore alternative therapies like vaginal dilators or laser treatments.

Perimenopause and Menopause Struggles

Brain Fog and Cognitive Changes

Many women report experiencing brain fog, memory lapses, and difficulty concentrating during perimenopause and menopause. This can be frustrating and impact productivity at work or daily functioning. “This has been difficult for me, especially having a few cases of Dementia in my immediate family. Am I at risk? This is frightening,” Eve.

Positive Way: Engage in mentally stimulating activities like puzzles or reading, practice stress management techniques, and consider cognitive-enhancing supplements like ginkgo biloba (after consulting a healthcare professional).

Urinary Incontinence

Hormonal changes during menopause can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, leading to urinary incontinence or leakage. This can cause embarrassment and limit social activities. “What to do? A simple sneeze or laughing hard can trigger an oopsy, Eve.

Ways to Care: Perform pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises), manage fluid intake, and consider bladder training or medication if symptoms persist.

Bone Loss and Osteoporosis Risk

Estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining bone density, and its decline during menopause can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Positive Way: Incorporate weight-bearing exercises, ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, and discuss bone density screening and potential osteoporosis treatments with your healthcare provider.

Skin Changes and Dryness

Decreased estrogen levels can lead to dryness, thinning, and loss of elasticity in the skin, contributing to wrinkles, sagging, and an overall aged appearance.

Ways to Care: Moisturize regularly, use gentle cleansers and exfoliants, protect your skin from sun exposure, and consider topical treatments or supplements containing collagen or hyaluronic acid.

Hair Loss and Thinning

Hormonal imbalances during menopause can cause hair thinning, shedding, or even pattern baldness in some women, which can impact self-confidence and body image.

Positive Way: Maintain a healthy, balanced diet, consider supplements like biotin or saw palmetto, and explore hair growth treatments or styling techniques to conceal thinning areas.

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Anxiety and Depression

The hormonal shifts and life transitions associated with menopause can contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, and mood disorders in some women.

Ways to Care: Practice stress management techniques like mindfulness or yoga, seek counselling or therapy if needed, and consider natural remedies like St. John’s wort or SAM-e (after consulting a healthcare professional).

Decreased Libido

Many women experience a decrease in sexual desire and libido during perimenopause and menopause, which can strain intimate relationships and overall satisfaction.

Positive Way: Communicate openly with your partner, explore intimacy-enhancing techniques or aids, and discuss potential treatments like hormone replacement therapy or counselling with your healthcare provider.

Remember, every woman’s journey through perimenopause and menopause is unique, and it’s essential to seek support from healthcare professionals, loved ones, and support groups when needed. Women can navigate this transitional phase with resilience and grace by embracing self-care, making lifestyle adjustments, and adopting positive coping strategies.

Content Reference:


Mayo Clinic

Cleveland Clinic

Harvard Health Publishing


National Institute on Aging

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