Mention menopause and you probably picture flushing, forgetfulness and temper flares. Yet these usually begin in perimenopause – the beginning of the end of your periods (but not your life!). Signalling “the change before the change”, women generally enter perimenopause around age 47 and it usually lasts four to six years, though it can last up to 10.
“There are dozens of symptoms associated with perimenopause, including itchy skin, weight gain, hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disruption, depression, anxiety, water retention, poor memory, dry eyes and aching joints,” says Liz Earle, author of The Truth About HRT. “I think it is fair to say perimenopause takes most of us by surprise – we may feel in the peak of good health, only to become aware of niggling changes in our body.”