Your feet during peri-menopause

Peri-menopause is a natural stage in a woman's life that typically occurs in her late 30s to early 50s. During this transitional phase, the body undergoes various hormonal shifts, leading to a range of physical and emotional changes. While many people are familiar with the more common symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, some may be surprised to learn that peri-menopause can also affect the feet. In this blog post, we will explore the lesser-known foot changes that can occur during peri-menopause and how to manage them effectively.

Swelling and Fluid Retention

One of the most common foot-related issues experienced during peri-menopause is swelling and fluid retention. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly changes in oestrogen levels, can lead to an imbalance in the body's fluid regulation. This can result in swollen feet and ankles, making it uncomfortable to wear shoes and causing a sensation of heaviness in the lower extremities.

How to Manage It:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help flush excess fluids from your body.
  • Elevate your feet: Propping your feet up when sitting or lying down can reduce swelling.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: Choose supportive, cushioned shoes with a wider toe box to accommodate swollen feet.
  • Compression socks: Consider wearing compression stockings to help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.

    Changes in Skin and Nails

The hormonal fluctuations of peri-menopause can also affect the skin and nails of the feet. Some women may notice that their skin becomes drier and more prone to cracking, while others might experience changes in nail texture and growth.

How to Manage It:

  • Moisturize: Regularly apply a moisturizing foot cream to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene: Properly clean and dry your feet to prevent fungal infections.
  • Trim and file nails: Keep your toenails well-trimmed to avoid ingrown nails and use a nail file to maintain their shape.

    Reduced Bone Density

Peri-menopause is a time when women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones. This can affect the feet, making them more susceptible to fractures, especially in the bones of the toes and feet.

How to Manage It:

  • Calcium and vitamin D: Ensure you're getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet or through supplements to support bone health.
  • Weight-bearing exercise: Engage in weight-bearing exercises like walking, dancing, or strength training to help maintain bone density.
  • Regular check-ups: Consult your healthcare provider for bone density assessments and recommendations for managing osteoporosis.

    Joint Pain

Hormonal changes can also contribute to joint pain, which may affect the feet. Some women may experience discomfort in the joints of the toes, feet, or ankles during peri-menopause.

How to Manage It:

  • Gentle stretching: Regularly stretch your calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and the muscles in your feet to alleviate joint discomfort.
  • Foot massages: Consider getting regular foot massages or using a tennis ball to roll under your feet for relief.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: If joint pain is severe, consult your healthcare provider for recommendations on safe over-the-counter pain relief options.


Peri-menopause is a transformative phase in a woman's life that brings about numerous physical and hormonal changes. While foot-related issues may not be the most widely discussed aspect of this transition, they are a common occurrence that can significantly impact daily life. By understanding these changes and implementing effective strategies to manage them, women can continue to prioritize their foot health and overall well-being during peri-menopause. Remember, consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for personalised advice and support during this time of transition.