Hot flashes, mood swings, low energy, decreased tolerance to stress/anxiety, breast tenderness, sleep disturbance... there are a myriad of symptoms associated with Perimenopause/post menopause. And the more I talk with other women about this, the more I find out how varied those symptoms can be.
For me, the worst symptoms are the mood swings, anxiety/low stress tolerance... which is a little difficult when you're a working mother, taking care of a household/family, ailing parents, my patients (working in healthcare), etc. I have found that I have had to cut back on my work schedule, exercise a lot more, and make self-care a priority, all to just MANAGE my anxiety.
And the temptation to start hormone therapy is definitely there (wouldn't it be nice to be able to work more/contribute to family finances, for starters). I have known several women that have turned to Bioidentical Hormones for help and swear by them. And the treatments we turn to are so personal, based on how challenging our symptoms are, how much they disrupt our lives, and what our belief systems are.
My personal belief system (and I definitely do not judge others' beliefs), having worked in healthcare for years and seen so often the unintended consequences of medical interventions, is that Menopause is a natural "challenge" to get through, that through pain and discomfort comes spiritual growth, and that this too shall pass...
And along comes an article in my In Box that reinforces my personal beliefs:
Again, we all make choices that make sense to us, but thought I'd share this article.
Good luck in your process, whatever it may be...