Do things just slip through your fingers? Do you continually bump into things, drop things, misplant a foot when descending the stairs or stepping off a curb?
Remember that gawky awkward phase you went through as you entered puberty, when suddenly your legs were longer, your arms reached farther, and all these new bits of you felt out of your control?
Well, like the acne, mood swings, and erratic periods, clumsy is back, and menopause may be (in part, at least) to blame. Fortunately, like adolescence, it’s generally temporary on this end too.
Estrogen – particularly estradiol – appears to have a beneficial effect on fine motor skills. It’s why, at certain points in a woman’s cycle, she may feel a bit clumsier or more graceful than at other times.
It’s also why many women in perimenopause and menopause notice a marked difference in their ability to hold onto things and move comfortably through the world.
Drops in estrogen can also make concentration a bit more difficult, and that moment of inattention can be the difference between enjoying a glass of wine and cleaning it off the carpet.
Additionally, blurred vision from dry eye or even cataracts can add to the number of accidents we seem to be having lately.
Finally, some women say slight dizziness or light-headedness during this time also causes a lack of coordination.
Constantly having to clean up messes is annoying, takes time, and can start to drain our already flagging self-confidence, so here are a few tips to get through this second “awkward phase”:
An increased tendency to drop things and bump into furniture during this time is common, but if your “clumsiness” seems very sudden, very extreme, or comes with slurred speech, numbness, headaches, or difficulty swallowing, seek medical help right away.
Of course, if you have any concern that what you’re experiencing is more serious that a dip in estrogen, please talk to your doctor.
While there’s not much research on this, what there is, plus anecdotes from women I’ve spoken with seem to indicate this is transitional and temporary, and most women regain motor control after their bodies adapt to less estrogen.
Of course, you can help yourself recover more completely by doing strength exercises. The lost muscle mass many women experience doesn’t regenerate without effort, and much of motor control depends on strength.
The information on the Gennev site is never meant to replace the care of a qualified medical professional. Hormonal shifts throughout menopause can prompt a lot of changes in your body, and simply assuming something is “just menopause” can leave you vulnerable to other possible causes. Always consult with your physician or schedule an appointment with one of Gennev's telemedicine doctors before beginning any new treatment or therapy.
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