Navigating the Change: 10 Signs Perimenopause Is Ending
Perimenopause is a normal part of the female reproductive cycle that most women go through in their late 40s or early 50s. And while it’s a natural part of the life cycle, it can be confusing and challenging for many women and their partners.
While menopause is often thought of as a single event, the point at which your periods stop entirely, perimenopause is a transition period during which your ovaries gradually start producing less estrogen. This leads to a variety of symptoms that can have a significant impact on your quality of life.
That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs of perimenopause so you can manage your symptoms and stay healthy during this transition. In this article, we’ll explore some common symptoms and how to manage them so that you can emerge from this stage feeling stronger than ever!
Changes in Menstruation
One of the most common symptoms of perimenopause is changes in the menstrual cycle. As your ovaries produce less estrogen, your menstrual cycle may become irregular, lighter, or heavier. Some women may experience missed periods, while others may have longer periods than usual. You may also experience spotting between periods, which can cause concern if it happens frequently.
It’s important to track your menstrual cycle during perimenopause to monitor changes and identify potential health concerns. Irregular periods can make it difficult to predict when you will ovulate, affecting your ability to conceive if you’re trying to get pregnant. Additionally, changes in the menstrual cycle can indicate underlying health issues, such as fibroids or polyps, that may require medical treatment.
If you experience any changes in your menstrual cycle during perimenopause and are concerned about them, talk with your healthcare provider as soon as possible! They’ll help you understand what’s happening and recommend treatments for managing symptoms and keeping yourself healthy throughout this transition.
Hot Flushes and Night Sweats
Hot flushes and night sweats are common symptoms experienced by many women during perimenopause. A hot flash is a sudden sensation of heat that can cause sweating, flushing, and a rapid heartbeat. Night sweats, on the other hand, are hot flushes that occur during sleep and can cause you to wake up feeling damp or soaking wet.
In addition to being uncomfortable, hot flushes and night sweats can disturb your sleep quality and affect your ability to function throughout the day. However, there are several ways to manage hot flushes and night sweats during perimenopause;
- Dressing in layers, staying cool, and avoiding triggers such as caffeine and alcohol can help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flushes.
- Hormone therapy, including oestrogen replacement therapy, may also be recommended for some women.
- Stop hot flushes without HRT by trying out natural supplements, as they may help reduce perimenopause symptoms.
- Other alternative treatments such as acupuncture and relaxation techniques may effectively manage these symptoms.
It’s not just your age but also the fluctuation of hormones in your body that can cause significant changes in mood during perimenopause. Women may experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression during this time.
While mood changes can be challenging to manage and significantly affect your quality of life, there are ways to manage them during perimenopause:
- Exercise, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and improve overall mood.
- Getting enough sleep is also essential, as sleep deprivation can exacerbate mood swings and irritability.
- It’s also recommended to avoid triggers such as caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, which can contribute to mood instability.
- Therapy and medication can be effective in managing mood changes during perimenopause.
- Talking with a therapist can help you develop coping mechanisms and provide support during this challenging time.
- Your healthcare provider may recommend medication such as antidepressants or hormone therapy to help manage severe symptoms.
Changes in Libido
As oestrogen levels decrease, it can cause vaginal dryness, discomfort, and reduced sensitivity. This can make sexual activity less enjoyable for you. Additionally, mood changes, fatigue, and stress can contribute to a decrease in libido during perimenopause.
Ways to manage these changes;
- Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep help boost energy levels and improve overall health.
- Communication with your partner is crucial as they may need help understanding the physical and emotional changes you’re experiencing.
- Using lubricants and other products to enhance sexual pleasure can also make sexual activity more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Hormone therapy can also be effective in managing these changes during perimenopause.
- Your healthcare provider may recommend vaginal estrogen or testosterone therapy to improve vaginal dryness and boost libido.
- Additionally, healthcare providers may recommend counselling or therapy to help you navigate these changes in sexual desire and intimacy.
Changes in Skin and Hair
One common perimenopause symptom is dryness, as the skin produces less oil due to declining estrogen levels. This can lead to itchiness, flakiness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Hair may also start to thin, and the texture may become coarse and dry. These changes can be frustrating and affect a woman’s self-esteem.
Here are some tips for dealing hair changes during perimenopause:
- Look for gentle shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for thinning hair or dry hair. Avoid harsh chemicals and hot styling tools that can further damage your hair.
- Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help support healthy hair growth. Focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Consider taking supplements that are known to support healthy hair growth, such as biotin, vitamin D, and iron. However, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements.
- Stress can contribute to hair loss and thinning, so it’s important to find ways to manage your stress. Consider practicing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Sleep disturbances are a common symptom of perimenopause, affecting many women during this transitional phase of life. Insomnia and restless sleep are among the most commonly reported issues. These disruptions can cause fatigue and irritability and impact women’s wellbeing.
If you’re in perimenopause, regulating your sleep quality can be challenging. But don’t worry, here are some tips that can help:
- Establish a regular sleep routine. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improves the quality of your sleep.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down before sleep. This might include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises.
- Make sure your sleep environment is conducive to rest. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the hours leading up to bedtime, as these substances can interfere with sleep.
Changes in Weight
During perimenopause, many women experience changes in weight, particularly weight gain around the middle. This can be attributed to various factors, including hormonal changes, decreased muscle mass, and decreased physical activity.
Some tips for managing weight during this time include;
- Regular exercise, including both strength training and aerobic exercise, can help build muscle mass, burn calories, and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This can be achieved by reducing your calorie intake or increasing your calorie burn through exercise. Aim to reduce your calorie intake by 500-1000 calories per day to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
- Focus on consuming a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and other high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.
- Avoid fad diets or quick fixes. Fad diets or quick-fix weight loss solutions may provide short-term results, but they are often unsustainable and can be harmful to your health in the long run. Instead, focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes that promote long-term health.
- Managing weight can be challenging, and it’s important to seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare provider. A registered dietitian or nutritionist can also provide guidance on developing a healthy eating plan.
Memory problems are a common symptom of perimenopause. Women may experience difficulty remembering things like where they left their keys, appointments, or important dates. Brain fog, or the feeling of being mentally sluggish or forgetful, is also common.
Hormonal changes during perimenopause can affect the brain’s ability to process information and may lead to memory problems. It’s important to note that memory problems during perimenopause are usually temporary and improve with time.
Here are some tips for dealing memory problems during perimenopause:
- Getting enough sleep as it is essential for memory consolidation and retention. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and establish a regular sleep routine.
- Exercise has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
- Try practicing memory exercises. There are many memory exercises that can help improve your cognitive function. Try crossword puzzles, memory games, or other brain-training exercises.
- Stress can negatively impact memory and cognitive function. Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
- Keep a calendar or planner to help you stay organized and remember important tasks and appointments.
Joint pain and stiffness is another common symptom of perimenopause. Women may experience pain and stiffness in their hands, knees, hips, or other joints. The hormonal changes during perimenopause can cause a decrease in estrogen levels, which can lead to bone loss and joint pain.
If you’re struggling with joint pain during perimenopause, here are a few tips that may help:
- Excess weight can put stress on your joints, so maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce joint pain.
- Applying heat or cold to painful joints can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
- Stress can exacerbate joint pain, so practicing stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises may help.
Breast tenderness is a third symptom of perimenopause. Women may experience pain, soreness, or tenderness in their breasts. This can be caused by hormonal changes during perimenopause, specifically an increase in levels of the hormone progesterone.
If you’re experiencing breast tenderness during perimenopause, these tips can help you manage and alleviate them:
- Wearing a supportive bra can help reduce breast tenderness and discomfort.
- Applying a warm compress to your breasts can help reduce tenderness and discomfort.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate breast tenderness.
Natural Alternatives and Lifestyle Changes to Alleviate Perimenopause Symptoms
For women looking for additional support, there are a variety of perimenopause supplements available in the UK that may help alleviate symptoms. Some of the most popular supplements include black cohosh, red clover, and soy. These supplements contain natural plant compounds that may help regulate hormone levels and reduce hot flashes and night sweats.
Other supplements that may be helpful during perimenopause include magnesium, which can help with sleep disturbances, and vitamin D, which can help prevent bone loss. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements, as they can interact with other medications and may not be safe for everyone to use.
In addition to supplements, making lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress can also help alleviate perimenopause symptoms. For women experiencing more severe symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be recommended by their healthcare provider. Whatever approach you choose, it’s important to listen to your body and seek support from friends, family, and healthcare professionals during this transition.
These ten signs of perimenopause may help you navigate your way through the change. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this journey, and if you feel like something is wrong, it’s good to talk to your doctor about it.
In addition to traditional treatments, some women have found relief from perimenopause symptoms by using CBD products. Noo-tropics is a company that offers a line of CBD products specifically formulated to help with perimenopause and menopause symptoms as well as offer relief for post menopause discomforts. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in hemp plants that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce pain and anxiety.