If you’re wondering what perimenopause is, it’s the time from when your body first starts to slow down oestrogen and progesterone production to the time when you enter menopause. Menopause is defined as the stage in your life when you haven’t had a menstrual period for at least twelve months and is effectively the end of the reproductive stage of your life. Of course, people tend to talk about menopause as the whole experience, but as the average age for menopause is 51, perimenopause is what’s likely to be affecting you in your forties.
What are the symptoms of perimenopause?
The severity of symptoms varies enormously between women. Some find their lives aren’t disrupted very much at all, while others suffer terribly from side effects such as:
- Irregular bleeding
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Skin and hair problems
- Pelvic pain
- Loss of libido
All these symptoms are caused by the natural changes in hormone levels as your ovaries start to produce less of the female sex hormones progesterone and oestrogen. When you reach menopause, hormone production ceases altogether, which can increase your chances of developing other conditions such as osteoporosis.
How can I manage perimenopause?
If you’re experiencing any symptoms, visit your primary care provider for advice. You may be a suitable candidate for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is effective in relieving some of the more severe side effects, or there may be other treatments that could help like antidepressant medication.
One of the most effective ways of managing perimenopause is self-care. Eating a nutritious, varied diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, and natural fatty acids will boost your general health and reduce the effects of perimenopausal symptoms. Regular exercise keeps you fit and strong, and does wonders for your mental health as well, and learning to deal with stress by taking up meditation, mindfulness, yoga, Tai Chi, or a similar pursuit can be enormously beneficial.
Skin and hair can often start to dry out and become thinner during perimenopause, and it’s the time when wrinkles are likely to start showing up.
Taking good care of your skin is essential to keep it looking its best, and to minimize the effects of aging on your psychological well-being. You may well need to change from the skin care products you’ve been using to ones that are designed for older skins.
Have a look at the extensive ranges of organic skin care products you can buy online, as well as shampoos, makeup, and nail treatments.
You can’t avoid going through perimenopause, but you can do a great deal about making sure it’s not too unpleasant an experience. Make time for yourself, don’t push so hard that you overdo it, and remember your body is going through a seismic upheaval because of the fluctuating hormone levels. It’s also a time when many women feel like they are losing something, because even if they don’t want any more children, losing the potential to have another baby can be hard to accept. However you feel during perimenopause, remember you can help yourself feel better and enter the next stage of your life fit and raring to go.