Gwyneth Paltrow says perimenopause symptoms are a ‘rollercoaster’ – here’s what you need to know

Gwyneth Paltrow Says Perimenopause Symptoms Are A ‘Rollercoaster’ – Here’s What You Need To Know
Gwyneth Paltrow
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By Abi Jackson, PA

Gwyneth Paltrow said she is “in the thick of perimenopause” and the symptoms are “a rollercoaster”.

The actress and Goop founder, 51, said she is “glad women are talking about this now” – as the topic has been taboo for far too long.


“I’m really in the thick of perimenopause, so it’s quite a rollercoaster and my best advice is that every woman really needs to contemplate what is the right way for her,” Paltrow said in an interview with People.

“I’m glad that there is a big change in the culture and women are talking about this now. Because in my mother’s generation that was not the case whatsoever,” she added.

Perimenopause is the phase leading up to menopause, as a woman’s reproductive years come to an end. Paltrow revealed she was 45 when she first noticed a “shift” happening for her. However, she was unsure exactly where to turn at first.


“I just thought it was so strange that there was nowhere that I could go to understand if everything I was going through was normal,” the Politician star added.

As Paltrow highlighted, it’s only recently that we’ve started talking openly about perimenopause and menopause. For a long time, lack of awareness meant many women were suffering in silence with symptoms or unsure that what they were experiencing was because of hormonal changes – which also meant many going without appropriate support and treatment.

Here’s what everyone needs to know about perimenopause…

What is perimenopause?


Perimenopause is the phase leading up to menopause – which is classified as being when a woman hasn’t had a period for a full 12 months, according to the NHS. This means someone’s reproductive years are coming to an end; the ovaries stop releasing eggs and hormone levels drop. It typically begins in your 40s or early-50s, although some people start menopause earlier, either for medical or unknown reasons.

How long perimenopause lasts can vary. For some, it’s a matter of months, while others may have symptoms for four to eight years.

How do you know you’re perimenopausal?

Some women may first start to notice changes to their menstrual cycle, the NHS notes – for example, periods may become lighter or heavier, or start happening more or less frequently.

The other symptoms are the same as those associated with menopause in general. And as The Menopause Charity points out, women have oestrogen receptors on every cell in their body – which means the fall in oestrogen during this life phase can have very wide-ranging effects.

Experts believe there are around 40-50 potential symptoms, although the range and severity can be different for everyone, affecting people mentally and physically.

Psychological symptoms

Common mental and emotional symptoms include low mood, anxiety and mood swings, feeling irritable or angry, reduced self-esteem, poor memory and brain fog, reduced interest in sex.

Physical symptoms

Common physical symptoms can include poor sleep, hot flushes, restlessness, heart palpitations, migraines/headaches, muscle aches, joint pain and weight gain. Dry and itchy skin are also common, as well as vaginal dryness and discomfort, an increased need to pee and sometimes an increase in urinary tract infections (UTIs) and thrush.

What can you do about it?

There are lots of things that can help – starting with talking about it and learning more about what’s going on and why it’s happening. If symptoms are severe and impacting your quality of life, speaking with your GP is a good idea. They can talk to you about when it might be an option to consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other things that may help, such as vaginal lubricants. CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) may also help.

Self-help and lifestyle measures also play a part. The NHS advises plenty of rest, a healthy diet, regular exercise and doing relaxing things, as well as steering clear of cigarettes and being mindful of alcohol intake.

The Menopause Charity ( also has a wealth of information on managing symptoms.

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