What is happening to my body?!

April 17, 2024

I’m Jo
A Confidence Coach for Women in their forties.  

Do you feel more irritable and that your fuse is getting shorter?  Anyone else hot in here? What is going on with this extra weight and why is my skin friggen itching!?!

These are just some of the symptons that occur as you enter your Menopause journey. If you think that this happens to women in their 50’s, you might be surprised to hear that Perimenopause – the beginning of the Menopausal transition, can start to begin in your late thirties.

Yes that’s right, Elder Millennials the ones that put the avocado on the toast and coined ‘adulting’ are experiencing Menopause as well as turning 40.  Called Millenopause (google it, it’s a thing) and I personally think it’s fantastic as there are new movers and shakers joining the dancefloor and helping us reshape our attitude and this time in our life.  

Quick recap… Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. Gen X between 1965 and 1980.

Before we go into more details surrounding Perimenopause, I want to have a heart to heart with you. 

If you feel like this Menopausal journey or the fear that it is coming, will strip away your confidence and retire you from society from which you will wither and wilt away…  I’m here to tell you that the belief that women lose their value as they continue to age live in life, that is irrelevant and outdated.  Not you my love.  This is not the last dance, it is a new club that you are entering.  The Japanese call Menopause the Second Spring, let that sink in.  This moment in our lives deserves to be honoured and celebrated. We made it this far, there are women that didn’t. Let’s do our best to lean into gratitude and appreciate our precious life and take care of ourselves and not let anyone take our power away. 

Back to our beautiful bodies and what is happening.

In the past there has not been enough research, funding and education to empower women during this time and limited examples of opportunities.   Thankfully there is a glorious movement taking place that is educating women on this transition.   One that has positively shown that the show of your life does indeed go on.   In the UK Davina McCall and Dr Naomi Scott wrote Menopausing and I highly recommend the Podcast chat between Mel Robbins and Dr Marie.

Whether you are Perimenopause or Millenopause how much do you know about this stage of your life?   There is a lot of noise at last surrounding women’s health and it yet it can also be a little confusing knowing what is exactly going on.

So this week’s blog post is a breakdown on the stages of Perimenopause and signs to look out for. The information is scientific evidence from my Menopause Specialist Training with GGS Coaching.

The sooner you know what is happening, the better it is for your mental and emotional health plus how you can develop a Menopausal Toolkit to ensure you keep dancing and being your fabulous self as you continue to live your glorious life. 

Welcome to the world of Perimenopause!

Think of it as a journey with two main stops: the early stage Perimenopause and the late stage Perimenopause.  Now, every woman’s experience is unique and changes from month to month and even day to day.

Here is a guide on what to expert at a high level.

Do I need a blood test?

If you are under 45 years old your Dr may want to do a blood test to check your hormone level. Over 45 then they usually go on symptons alone.  Why?  In Perimenopause hormones especially Estrogen is on a rollercoaster going up and down and it is a challenge to test.

Early Perimenopause:

Picture this phase as the gentle nudge from your body signaling change. It’s like a sneak peek into what’s to come. During Early Perimenopause, we start noticing subtle shifts affecting our ovarian follicles, menstrual cycle, and those intricate hormone levels in our brains. While our periods might still follow some sort of pattern, we’re likely to see fewer viable follicles and a bit of unpredictability.

Cycle lengths may vary, from shorter to longer stretches — think anywhere from 14 to 50 days. And let’s not forget about our flow; it might decide to play the light-and-heavy game, keeping us guessing. Some women experience periods that are suddenly heavy enough to soak through a super-plus tampon easily. 

Late Perimenopause

Late perimenopause, as the name suggests, arrives a bit later in the journey. During this phase, the dance of changes within your body continues, particularly in the ovarian follicles and the menstrual cycle.

As late perimenopause progresses, the number of ovarian follicles steadily declines. It’s at this stage where conceiving becomes trickier, though not entirely impossible. The dwindling number of functioning follicles translates to a decrease in estradiol (E2) and progesterone—hallmarks of menopause.

One notable change during late perimenopause is the increasing gap between periods. When menstruation does occur, ovulation may or may not accompany it, and estrogen levels can fluctuate unpredictably. Why does this happen, you ask?

Well, it’s all about estrogen levels taking a downward turn. With fewer viable ovarian follicles responding less to hormonal signals from the brain, the delicate dance of hormones experiences some hiccups. The pulses of GnRH from the hypothalamus, responsible for regulating LH and FSH, become less consistent. In an attempt to compensate, they intermittently ramp up hormone signals to stimulate more follicles.

Yet, with fewer mature ovarian follicles, estrogen production decreases, leading to an imbalance in the feedback loop that governs menstrual cycles. These hormonal shifts often introduce new signs and symptoms as women transition into late perimenopause, typically in their forties

Perimenopause can span many years with a variation of signs and symptons. It’s a bit like bingo, you might have a full house or a couple might resonate or perhaps non at all. We are all unique and it varies per person.  The symptons can change day to day and month to month.   At the moment while I type this for example, my skin is feeling itchy and dry and last week it was ok.

Below I have a list of symptons you might have heard of and some no one tells you about.

Feeling like something is off

PMS feeling more extreme

Change in Periods – shorter, longer, heavier, lighter.


Mood swings


Brain fog

Hair loss

Dry eyes

Burning mouth


Bleeding gums

Heart palpitations

Sore breasts

Weight gain


Low sex drive

Vaginal dryness

Dry, itchy skin

Aching joints and muscles

What is worth noting is how these symptons impact your quality of life.  You do not have to suffer in silence because your friend or your mum has or had the same symptons. If is affecting your life that is what is most important and there are ways to get help.

While you can’t magically wave a wand to banish Menopausal Symptons, you can support your general health and hormonal health with health and wellness practices.

  1. Movement
  2. Nutrition
  3. Stress Management
  4. Sleep
  5. HRT or Alternative remedies. 

One point that I feel must be included is the power in conversation. Being able to share your journey with another brings together communities and the sense that we are not alone.   Talk to your friends, join in-person and online communities to learn and move forwards on this journey together.   

Creating a Menopause Toolkit is vital in empowering your confidence emotionally and physically as you embark on your own unique journey.  During my coaching programme, I help Clients develop mental resilience and calming tools and create their own Menopause Toolkit to help during the highs and lows and everything in-between

While past generations used to toughen it out, things are changing, there is help out there and said in so much kindness, no one won a medal for toughing out Menopause. 

The information in this blog post was inspired by the Menopause Coaching Specialist Certification from Girls Gone Strong. The material is the copyright and/or trademark of Girls Gone Strong, LLC. No claim or rights are being claimed in the usage of this information. Reproduction in part or whole is not permitted without the consent of Girls Gone Strong, LLC.

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