Chin Hairs and Other Facts About Perimenopause

I am in smack dab in the middle of perimenopause, the transition of a woman's body into menopause. Once I don't get my period for 12 months, I'll officially be in menopause. But at the age of 49, I'm still getting mine every 28 days.

Every woman's journey to the land of no menses is different. This is how mine has been going:

1. I am sprouting hair where I don't want it. Like long black ones on the backs of my legs. And a few whiskers on my chin. (Helpful hint: leave a tweezers in the car. That rear view mirror and the broad daylight are perfect for seeing where you need to pluck. But only do it when you're parked.)

2. But I'm losing the hair on my head. Natch. I'm surprised the drain in my shower even works. At some point, I have to figure, I'm going to be bald. Might be time for some hair vitamins.

3. My periods are shorter but man, are they heavy. For 24 of the 84 hours that I'm shedding my uterine lining, super duper jumbo tampons and giant diaper maxi pads are my best friends.

4. My PMS has gotten worse over the last year. A few days before I get my period I become someone I'm not. Until I look at the calendar and realize why. A square or two of really dark chocolate seems to help.

5. Every couple of weeks, I wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. Mainly around my boobs. Every time, I feel like my fever has broken but then I remember that I wasn't sick.

6. And speaking of my breasts, they seem to be sore more often. Like take off my bra, let them drop down and wince in pain soreness. And contrary to my husband's belief, massaging them does not make them feel better.

7. I go to bed just fine. I fall asleep pretty quickly but then out of nowhere, I'm up and my mind is going crazy. My kid's college applications, what my stepdaughter is going to wear when she visits her new school, what I'm making for dinner the next night. Insomnia, I hate you.

8. One of the biggest bummers of being perimenopausal is that my metabolism has slowed and over the last few years, I've gained weight. Exercise isn't enough so I've had to change my diet. I've been eating primal for three months and the positive changes just keep coming. I even think eating this way has helped with my mood swings, but you'd have to confirm that with my husband.

9. In my younger years, missing out on some sleep never affected me. These days, I'm tired when I don't get my seven plus hours. Since I get up at 5:30 a.m. during the week, I aim to be in bed before 10:30. It helps. Really.

10. I can't always recall small things quickly, like what I had for dinner two nights ago. (Meatballs over spinach.) Or my grandmother's sister's husband's name. (Uncle Harry.) I've checked with my physician about this and it's not worrisome. Just annoying.

11. Sometimes my vagina and I need a little help with lubrication. Maybe my mind is elsewhere (see # 7) or it's just taking me a little longer because my hormones are screwing with me and I'm impatient. So I keep lube in my nightstand drawer. And I always take it on vacation. So far, I'm not having a libido issue. But it could still happen. If so, I'll be heading to my doctor to have my hormone levels tested.

Have you experienced any of these symptoms? As always, MiddleSexy recommends talking to your doctor if your symptoms are worrisome.