What is perimenopause?
What are the symptoms and stages of perimenopause?
The symptoms and side effects of perimenopause can include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood swings
- Changes in libido
The stages of perimenopause vary from person to person. It can last anywhere from a few months to several years before transitioning into menopause. It's important to note that each woman's experience with perimenopause is unique.
General challenges of perimenopause
Challenges of perimenopause for expats
While the perimenopause can be challenging for anyone, expats have particular pressures to deal with. For example, many expats may face challenges in finding suitable healthcare providers who understand the specific needs and symptoms associated with perimenopause, especially if they are based in a country where the subject is still considered as taboo. Expats should research local medical services and seek recommendations from other expats in the same position.
Cultural and language barriers can also hinder expats in finding support for perimenopause. Expats should be proactive in learning about local norms and practices around women’s health and seek support wherever they can – this might be from an online community or a local expat group.
Finding a strong support network is the most important thing for expats to navigate this time of their lives. It’s easy to feel isolated when away from familiar support networks. Expats should make efforts to be as social as possible and share their experiences with others.
Self-care and coping strategies
As an expat, you may be struggling to find the support you need while abroad. That’s why it’s important to prioritise self-care. Here are a few ways to do so.
- Focus on stress relief and relaxation with mindfulness and meditation
- Take care of your physical health with regular exercise, good sleep and a balanced diet
- Seek emotional support wherever is comfortable for you, whether through friends, family, a therapist, or a perimenopause group
- Adapt your daily routine to suit this new phase of life – this might include new exercise regimens, a different schedule, or pencilling in self-care days where possible