Perimenopause is not something anyone told me about. These past few years I have been struggling with a constellation of symptoms. They seemed disparate – migraines, UTIs, racing heart, brain fog, anxiety, sleeplessness, overall tightness and joint pain. I went to doctors. I did the scans. Did the meds. The yoga. The meditation. The Ashwaganda. I stopped drinking. I gave up sugar. I still felt awful. And monthly I went through a rotation of medical appointments.
Last summer – and I am safe now, I am fine – I started to have an extreme issue after ovulation and I would fall into a deep pit of despair to the point of suicide ideation. Then my period would come and it would lift like a fever dream. Then the next month the circle would start again. At the time this was happening to me a friend, a beautiful woman, killed herself in a shocking way and it snapped me awake. I called my new to me OB (the old one was fired because of piss poor postnatal care) and she fit me in that day. She said all of this was perimenopause and prescribed progesterone. And in that moment I was in despair but two days later (before my period came) I was fine. I was just fine.
All of my symptoms were one thing and all of them are gone. I have not shared this before because it is very personal. But the thing is – my friends are suffering. I talk to random women and they are suffering. And there is no need. Perimenopause is puberty in reverse and for many it is a wild. For me it was wild.
I was very lucky in that I chose my current OB wisely. I went to a female doctor who believes women. Because here is the thing – bad science created an unnecessary fear of treating perimenopause and when that study came out it created a full stop on educating doctors on a transition that every single woman goes through.
Every one of us. Your doctor may not know anything about perimenopause and that includes your OB.
If your doctor doesn’t believe you or listen to you: Fire Them. Go somewhere else.
If you are feeling alone and having thoughts of suicide—whether or not you are in crisis—or know someone who is, don’t remain silent. Talk to someone you can trust through the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.