What are the 1st signs of menopause?

What are the 1st signs of menopause?

It's hard to know whether you have the first signs of menopause, whether you're just overwhelmed with work and family or it's something else altogether.

The first thing you need to be aware of is the everybody is different and every BODY is different, so what happens to you might not be the same as your girlfriends, and that's ok!

If you can, it's worth finding out what happened to your mother and what age she transitioned, as it could be similar to your own journey. Then again, it could be entirely different. (Ignore her if she starts telling horror stories - it's likely she's never been asked about menopause before, so may go off at a tangent).

Here are some indicators that you're going through perimenopause, which is the first part of the menopause journey:

Irregular periods

The first question you need to answer is whether your periods are regular. For some on the contraceptive pill, that's going to be hard to know, so be mindful that it will mask menopause symptoms. Irregular periods are a really good indication that you're going through menopause. Then again, you could always be pregnant!

Hot flashes & Night Sweats

Nothing screams menopause more than burning up for one or two minutes in an unexpected and incredibly inconvenient way. Plus lots of women get hotter at night during this time, with night sweats and evening flushing being prevalent. Be aware that if you are getting lots of hot flushes during the day, you'll need to head to the doctor to get your blood pressure checked and keep an eye on your Body Mass Index to ensure you are in a healthy weight range. If you're suffering from night sweats, and particularly if this is your only symptom and you are losing weight as well, then it's worth a doctors visit for blood tests, to ensure it is actually menopause that's causing this.


Ever been awake at 3am thinking you'll never, ever get back to sleep. Been there, still doing that. There are some steps you can take to help manage this, but the best thing you can do is track the insomnia, as you may find it's worse at different points of your period cycle, which might make it just that bit more acceptable if you know when and why it's happening. Obviously if you're changing the sheets due to night sweats at the same time, it's harder to get back to sleep, but good sleep hygiene can help here: no scrolling on the phone before bedtime, practice mindfulness during the day and even increasing exercise by a small amount can make a difference.

Mood changes

Welcome to the world of irritability! For some, mood changes can be the hardest symptom to manage. The drop in estrogen means going from the "we" to the "me" and makes it easier to get irritated by other people who we can generalize as "the family". From your partner's snoring that you've always tolerated, to hormonal teenage kids, things are going to be harder in general. Not to mention the insomnia, making it more difficult to cope with everything. Mood changes can be one of the most difficult symptoms to manage but recognizing them and working towards a plan of action can help. Remember that you're not alone as roughly 25 million women pass through menopause each year. That's a lot of venting going on globally!

Dryness down there

You feel like the Sahara desert in more ways then one and satisfaction has plummeted. Your dry vagina is very likely one of the signs of perimenopause. I only have one thing to say. Lube. Lots of it. You may feel like a teenager in the supermarket when you buy it, hoping not to bump into Brett from Sales, but it will help. And your vagina will thank you for it. What's better than that?

Weight gain

The dreaded slowing metabolism. Weight gain is potentially something that's going to creep up on you and take you by surprise. Particularly if you've been through a lot of on and off dieting in the past (happy to blame the past here). Weight gain is not fantastic for anyone and it's such an obvious symptom on a day to day basis, affecting how you feel about yourself. Let's just say that you may need a diet overhaul to keep things on an even keel. Subscribe to the Pure Me newsletter for tips and tricks as I'll be posting a lot more about weight gain and how to manage it.


Finally, embrace the change! It might not feel like it, but the world is opening up to a whole new you. You're stepping forward as an older, wiser and more honest version of yourself. The world needs this new you and all the wisdom and pearls that you have to offer. So embrace it and enjoy the journey as it's only going to happen once in your lifetime.