My Story: Coping with Perimenopause

Jaclyn shares her experience with perimenopause. She explains how hard it has been to talk to a doctor about perimenopause because it is rarely discussed.


OBOS Today: Could you tell me why you wanted to start — why you wanted to talk about this today?

Jaclyn: Yeah, I want to talk about perimenopause, which is a thing I am currently experiencing.

OBOS Today: What have you been experiencing? Can you tell me about that?

Jaclyn: Oh. Um. Yeah! I’m experiencing so many things! [laughing] Um, I started perimenopause a couple of years ago. I like skipped a whole cycle and after that happened — which was really unpleasant because I got, like, PMSed and then just stayed PMSed for a month. Um, and I’ve just had a bunch of symptoms since then. I’ve had IBS that I never had before; I had a migraine for the first time in 30 years; but primarily for the last couple of years, I’ve been getting my period, like, more frequently and for longer? Like, a sped-up cycle where my bleeding periods are longer, and then also they come more frequently… But in the last — like, since the new year, I’ve shifted into like perimenopause high gear. Um, I’m on, like, Day… I don’t even know, like Fifty-Some-Odd of my cycle right now. Um. [laughs] And… yeah, and I’m having mood swings, I’m having fatigue, I’m having like this brain fog where I can’t make my thoughts work, I’m having acid reflux, like, whoa? It’s like — it’s a lot! And I find myself feeling really angry, because like this is something that slightly more than half the population goes through, and it is so hard to get a straight answer about what might help with any of it. Um. I had to go… I had to, like, really do a lot of intense, like, self-advocacy to get in to see a perimenopause specialist, who I have an appointment with for next week, ‘cause, like, the automatic thing would be to just send you to some random gynecologist — which, like, perimenopause is like a whole systems thing, and a gynecologist mostly doesn’t — like, I’m sure they’re lovely people, but like… anyway, it’s been a lot! It’s been a lot, and nobody talks about it.