What is happening???!!!
Perimenopause brings all sorts of surprises. We expect some period changes or a hot flash, but there are plenty of surprising perimenopausal symptoms that no one ever told us to expect.
If you’re a woman over 40 or over 50 and experiencing these, it may be perimenopause:
Bugs crawling on your skin
A feeling that insects are crawling on you is called formication. This phantom infestation is a perimenopause thing, a “tactile hallucination” attributed to hormonal changes.
Burning Tongue or Mouth
More common in later stages, some studies indicate up to 40% of women in the perimenopausal age range may experience this issue.
Altered Depth Perception or Bumping into Things
Suddenly clumsy? Your internal spatial gauge can get altered in this life stage, causing you to lose your balance or bump into corners/furniture/whatever else is around. You may have occasional moments of losing your footing or sense of depth in the gym, home, etc. Be careful!
Hormonal changes and less moisture in the body can create higher concentrations of sweat or bacteria-producing sweat (sorry, it’s true) that can create a more intense or different body odor than before. If you’ve been pregnant and experienced this, it may come again.
Wild Hairs (Chin, Nipple and More)
Sudden hair on your chinny chin chin? Are those random dark hairs around your areola? You may also notice more hair on your toes, knuckles, back and stomach.
Called hirsutism, thank shifts in progesterone and estrogen levels which allow androgens (or "male" hormones) to become a bit more pronounced. You aren't producing more androgens, but their higher relative ratio can lead to "male" hair growth patterns (face, chest, back).
According to one study, as many as 15% of women experience this.
Our baseline neural messaging can be under stress and get more crossed wires. These mixed-up neural messages can be due to hormonal changes and fatigue due to higher stress and less sleep. So you may get suddenly dizzy or dizzy more easily, even experiencing vertigo.
If you have a young child in your life and are on a playground or doing “airplane” with them, be sure you have a place to sit down! The dizzy is real.
Tinnitus or Ringing Ears
Caused by the same factors that lead to dizziness or vertigo.
Hot flashes have all the punchlines and cliches. But you can also get cold flashes or cold spells, feeling suddenly freezing for up to 20 minutes despite the weather or room temperature.
You may also find you get cold hands or feet more frequently, intensely, or often, even though it’s 72 and sunny.
Why? Fluctuating hormones can sensitize your brain’s internal thermostat. You may be more aware of changes, and there is evidence your circulatory system is triggered differently as well, creating cold as well as heat.
Your Vagina Goes Numb or Labia Goes Numb
Your labia or vagina may feel suddenly numbed out or “asleep.” Not because of great sex or Womanizer vibrator but because of estrogen again. Your vaginal tissues may be thinning or getting drier. Your blood flow and circulation are ebbing and flowing in new ways. These issues can cause the vulva and vagina to become thinner, drier, and less elastic.
Some women report wanting to spend more time solo, with less desire for social activities. There could be several reasons for this midlife homebody urge. Our lives have increased stress, we’re often experiencing sleep issues and, therefore, fatigue, and our hormones send wild signals through our bodies, brains, and mood. If you need more time to recover and be alone, that’s ok. But if you find yourself actively avoiding people and situations for extended periods or feeling more isolated, seek a therapist or counselor to support you. This and continually finding less joy in the everyday are signs of depression, and there are many ways to get help, including but by no means limited to medications.
Why? It’s the hormones, babe.
Most, but not all of these weird perimenopausal symptoms go back to fluctuating estrogen levels.
We think estrogen is all about periods and pregnancy, but it is linked to our nervous system (and therefore, our brains and thinking), our circulation, and internal temperature control.
However, if you’ve been pregnant and experienced some of these, they may come back again in this life stage.
Take note of what’s happening for you, and know that Wile is here to help.
1. Start with our Perimenopause Support Supplement. The phytoestrogens combined with nervines for nervous system support and adaptogens for stress can help regulate the hormonal baselines that contribute to all of these wild symptoms and many more.
2. Add in our Targeted supplements. Rather than an all-in-one that can't really contain enough beneficial ingredients to get all the jobs done, we have targeted plant-derived herbal supplements to target specific issues: erratic periods and PMS after 40, ongoing stress and hot flashes or night sweats.
Yildiz, Bulent O., Sheila Bolour, Keslie S. Woods, April Moore, and Ricardo Azziz. “Visually Scoring Hirsutism.” Human Reproduction Update 16, no. 1 (January 1, 2010): 51–64. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmp024.
This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. Wile, Inc researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.