You’re over age 42
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
Perimenopause encompasses a much larger part of a woman’s life than the more common “menopause,” says Christine Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. “Menopause simply means after a woman’s final period,” she explains. The average age of menopause is 52; perimenopause describes the hormonal transitions leading up to that, and can be a decade-long process. If you’re younger than 42 and experiencing perimenopause symptoms, doctors will deem it premature (and likely investigate other causes) but if you’re over 42? It’s completely normal, natural, and, Dr. Northrup adds, not a bad thing. In fact, perimenopause can be a very positive experience for women.
You’re super clumsy—and have the bruises to prove it
Dropping things, running into furniture, or slipping like Bambi on an icy sidewalk may remind you of a teenage growth spurt, when your body was changing into almost an entirely new being. And, Dr. Northrup says, it’s not so different now. While you’re not gaining height you are getting a new body and clumsiness is a sign that premenopausal changes are happening. In addition, she says that fluctuations in hormones can make skin thinner, making you bruise easier.