Many people don’t realise that you are not in menopause until you have been an entire year without a period. Until then you are considered to be in perimenopause and this can last anywhere from 2 years to 12 years.
Many of the unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flushes, insomnia, and mood swings are actually more associated with the hormonal changes occurring during perimenopause. This is because during perimenopause your oestrogen levels go on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs while your progesterone is in decline.
It is the transition to menopause that is generally most difficult, not menopause itself. The great news is that a study that tracked women going through perimenopause for 20 years concluded that “women report feeling pretty fantastic after menopause”.
So how do you know if you are in perimenopause. If you have any three of the following changes, despite still having regular periods, you are likely to be in perimenopause:
• New onset heavy and/or longer flow
• Shorter menstrual cycles (less than 25 days apart)
• New sore, swollen or lumpy breasts
• New mid-sleep waking
• Increased menstrual cramps
• Onset of night sweats, in particular pre-menstrually
• New or markedly increased migraine headaches
• New or increased premenstrual mood swings
• Weight gain without changes in exercise or eating
If you are bothered by any perimenopause symptoms, come and see me for a personalised treatment plan that will have you feeling calmer, happier and more in control of your own health, naturally.