Monday, March 5, 2012

4 Things to Know About Perimenopause

What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause is that time in a woman's life, often referred to as “the change of life” when hormonal changes begin, which usually occurs between age 35 and menopause (menopause normally begins around 48-52). Menopause is simply defined as no menstrual cycle for at least one year.  Perimenopause is that period in time prior to that.  Early perimenopause is defined as a change in the menstrual cycle length of more than seven days. Late perimenopause is characterized by two or more missed periods and an interval of 60 days or more between periods. Perimenopause is usually easily recognized due to all the symptoms and noticeable physical and emotional changes that occur. 

So biologically, what’s happening?

Essentially, perimenopause is the wind down of a woman’s reproductive system from child-bearing to non-child-bearing. Perimenopause is the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins eight to ten years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less and less estrogen. With less estrogen, biological changes become noticeable.  Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstrual cycles cease. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, the decrease in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many changes occur in a woman’s body and many women experience the recognizable symptoms of menopause.

What are the symptoms?

Here’s something interesting. The symptoms of perimenopause are the same as menopause. The only difference is, during perimenopause the menstrual cycle is still active and in menopause menses has stopped.  Both phases have the same symptoms: headaches, memory loss, depression, anxiety, night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, insomnia, heart palpitations, fatigue, urinary problems, vaginal dryness, and bone loss. The only difference is that periods still occur during perimenopause (irregularly). In the menopausal phase it is often noted that the symptoms begin to lessen and/or disappear.

What to do?
Coping with apathy, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep and hot flashes is no picnic. Often women are confused with what is going on in their bodies and they begin to question themselves and their self confidence. Am I losing my mind?  Is this memory loss permanent? Will I ever feel motivated again? How am I ever going to cope with these awful symptoms and manage my life? There’s no need to suffer through these symptoms unnecessarily.  Many women have resorted to natural remedies for relief.  And, of course, the most well renowned is Black Cohosh, which is great, but it’s not enough on this own.  Perimenopause and menopause is a multi-platform issue requiring a multi-platform solution.  More than one single herb is required to balance all these symptoms.  Click here to take a look. Questions? Send us an email.

In Health,
Naturally Botanicals Team