Perimenopause is costly, especially for someone like me. In my pre-perimenopausal life, I had no physical ailments. My periods were relatively simple: sleepiness and chocolate treats signaled an impending menstrual cycle. Other than that, life was easy-peasy. I menstruated for about four to five days, and expected a period 30 days later.

But perimenopause? Not the same. That’s why I’ve been rejecting the common phrase menopause is like puberty, just in reverse. Nope. It’s not similar at all, not for me, anyway.

One of the main differences is the cost.

The first expense is small. My primary physician had suggested a multivitamin for a while, but I had ignored her, as I often do when it comes to doctor’s advices. However, after I turned 45 or so, a multivitamin seemed to be the missing link to my life. I’ve opted for Nature’s Way Alive! Women’s Energy. I use the one that has iron in it, because I’m still menstruating about every 150 days. If you’re not, then you may want to consider the post-50 one.

Nature’s Way Alive! multivitamin Cost: $9.44 xs 12 = 113.28

The next expense is a probiotic. Initially, I was using Garden of Life, which worked, until I went to Europe. That’s when I realized that all countries grow food differently, and perhaps, that may affect your microbiome and digestion system. (At a blogger’s suggestion), I switched to Probiotics by Ancient Nutrition, which since I’ve returned to the States, has worked miracles. The cost, however, was significantly different.

Garden of Life Cost: $17.24 xs 12  = 206.88

Ancient Nutrition Cost: $38.37 xs 12 = 460.44

Another expense is a progesterone cream. I started using this cream a couple years ago but stopped because it was stressful. You can only use it on five areas: your throat, breasts, and forearms. Sometimes, I’d forget if I put the cream on my left boob or my right, or if I started on my throat or my left arm. But I’ve returned to using it since my last gynecologist’s visit, and developed a system, because it’s necessary. Ion have no progesterone, and this cream helps with all types of things. I sleep better. My moods are stable, and that vaginal atrophy I talked about? Disappeared.

Dr. Randolph’s Natural Balance Progesterone Cream Cost: $30.00 xs 12 = 360.00

The final expense (so far) is a natural supplement that’s supposed to help with all of the menopausal things. It’s called Fan Club by HUM. According to the website, it has Siberian rhubarb extract to decrease the severity of hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, fatigue, and irritability; a patented probiotic strain that supports the gut-brain axis to improve mood; and grape seed extract that provides stress support. I need all of the things, and it has all of the things, and so far it’s working.

HUM’s Fan Club Cost: $40.00 xs 12  = $480.00

I totally understand that over a thousand dollars a year is nothing compared to some people’s medical expenses, but this is not a comparison to that, but rather, a comparison to a life prior to perimenopause, a life before I had to spend money to have a semblance of my former self. I held off as long as I could, but the reality is that, unlike puberty, which doctors like to compare this to, we will not be getting our hormones back, and consequently, there is a cost to that. And that, my friends, is an unexpected expense.