We can’t talk about perimenopause and menopause without defining the terms and explaining how hormones play a role in these two critical periods of a woman’s life.
*** Details discussed here are part of the Fearless FEMME Equipped for Menopause Workbook. Click the button below to download a copy:
We all have heard about menopause – which marks the end of our menstrual cycles, and it is a natural and normal part of life, and not as bad as it is portraited. Our society views aging as negative, and aging women definitely feel the pressure, especially after menopause.
Menopause begins when our ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, hormones needed to maintain menstrual cycles and fertility. It doesn’t happen overnight, but after 12 months without having a menstrual cycle, you’re officially in menopause.
However, until that official point in time, a woman may notice changes in her body, mood, and cycles. The period “around” menopause is called perimenopause. Most of the symptoms associated with perimenopause occur within 3-5 years before menopause. They can continue after menopause, during the postmenopausal period.
There’s no test to determine that you’re going through perimenopause, and most of the diagnosis (at least if you see a doctor about it) is determined through its symptoms.
Before we talk about symptoms, it’s essential to understand why they occur. Scientists are still finding out more details about how hormones influence some symptoms associated with perimenopause. We know that the standard, cyclical pattern of hormonal fluctuation associated with menstruation becomes erratic (as seen in the graphs below).
The fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone levels are the main reason for most symptoms associated with perimenopause.
The main hormones involved in menopause
Progesterone protects and prepares the uterus lining for a possible pregnancy – every month. It also has other functions in the body, such as reducing inflammation, regulating the immune system, maintaining bone health, and having a mild sedative effect that promotes good sleep.
Estrogen regulates our monthly cycles and plays a significant role in many physical and mental aspects of a woman’s health. Estrogen contributes to bone density, maintains heart health, regulates sleep, mood and hunger hormones, and skin integrity.
With all these different functions throughout our bodies, it’s no surprise that many women experience some symptoms resulting from the ups and downs of each of these two crucial hormones.
Every woman experiences perimenopause and menopause differently. Some will have no symptoms; others will have extreme ones that may cause a significant impact on their quality of life.
If you’re interested in finding out if you may be experiencing perimenopause, you can take this test by clicking the button below:
On a positive note, there are ways to feel better, even if you have severe symptoms. Treatments can involve lifestyle strategies and medication, such as hormone therapy.
If life strategies alone are not sufficient to “tame the beast” (lol), I recommend seeking medical advice. An additional recommendation is to look for someone specializing in or at least knowing about the menopause transition. You should call the providers or look at their professional attributes to find a good fit.
I used one resource to search for a provider using the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), where all its members have gone through additional training in menopause.
And on the other hand, if your doctor is already treating you but still struggling, you might need to adjust some lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, movement, and mindset.
My Fearless Femme program involves the main pillars of establishing and maintaining healthy strategies that improve quality of life in more than one way.
If you’re interested in finding more about it, Go here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be delighted to answer any questions!