What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause (or peri menopause) can be defined as the time before menopause. Perimenopause refers to the years of hormonal upheaval that precede a woman’s final menstrual period.

Perimenopause symptoms are most often experienced by women in their early to late 30’s, 40’s or early 50’s. The perimenopause symptoms such as fluctuating menstrual cycles can signal the slowing down of reproductive function. Perimenopause refers to the years of hormonal upheaval that precede a woman’s final menstrual period. It is not  a very well-understood stage. Many women are experiencing Perimenopause and are not aware of this because they lack the awareness.

As women, two of the developmental shifts we feel most defined by are puberty and menopause. Just as with puberty, menopause is not a sudden occurrence. Your body prepares for it gradually – up to a decade with perimenopause. Some women sail through it. Others find it more rocky than menopause because of the fluctuating hormones as the ovaries sputter and prepare to shut down. Unexpected physical, emotional and mental changes can begin to crop up in your 30s and 40s, for example: slower metabolism, mood swings, increased feelings of stress, less resilience, continuous lack of interest in sex, difficulty sleeping.

 

Some common signs of perimenopause:

Mood swings and emotional instability – feeling way more sensitive to things that never fazed you before

Unexplained extra weight that doesn’t seem to be affected by exercise

Chronic low energy

Moderate to extreme difficulty sleeping

Inconvenient, uncomfortable, disruptive night sweats

Less patience for your children, or changes in your willingness to accommodate others in your life

Unpredictable menstrual periods

A lack of enthusiasm for sex

The occassional Brain fog or trouble focusing sometimes

Sudden forgetfulness, such as walking into a room and forgetting why you came

Does this describe  how you feel?

You’re not alone.  These symptoms are not your imagination talking at all. Unfortunately the norm for  mainstream medical cure is to prescribe birth control pills for younger patients and hormone replacement therapy for older women. Or worse yet,  encourage you to take antidepressants for years .

 

 

Joan Fanus

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