Perimenopause – what are the signs?

WORDS: Alyce Cimino Lead Naturopath

It feels like everyone is talking about perimenopause right now – and we are HERE FOR IT! Perimenopause can be a tricky one, physically things are starting to change but when you look at the pathology/the blood work things can APPEAR normal and yet you feel rubbish!

So, why is that? here is the tricky part about perimenopause, there is no one test to diagnose perimenopause!

After decades of hard work, our ovaries no longer have the drive to be COO, so rather than putting all their effort into the crucial job of egg production and oestrogen management, they are looking to ease into retirement. This transition can take 2 years, it can take 10 years! This is why everyone’s symptom picture can differ and these symptoms can change throughout that timeline as well.

Generally speaking, perimenopause generally starts around 40-45 years of age, however, this is not a set rule. some women can begin menopause earlier or later – or they can even breeze through it and not notice any changes.

As mentioned above, there is no one test to show that you have entered perimenopause, but there are signs. Some women breeze through perimenopause and menopause, and for other women they aren’t given the same grace.

Signs include (but are not limited to);
+ Mood fluctuations
+ Increased anxiety
+ Forgetfulness and poor concentration
+ Shifts with weight (commonly weight is harder to shift)
+ Heavier bleeds
+ Painful periods
+ Irregular cycles (both shortening and lengthening)
+ Increased anxiety prior to a bleed
+ Decreased Libido
+ Dry vagina
+ Hot flushes and night sweats
+ Increased joint pain

yes, these are all areas that Oestrogen and progesterone influence, which is why with oestrogen’s quick decrease in production we see a rise in these symptoms.

If you think you are entering into perimenopause the first step is to book in with your health practitioners and have a very comprehensive checkup done. This should include pathology testing as well, you want to find out where your overall health picture is at. things such as thyroid health, vitamin D, iron etc all play into how you are feeling in other areas of your total wellbeing.

We want to improve your overall wholefood intake, while also supporting elimination pathways – for some, this may be time to give up smoking/vaping/alcohol as these can all worsen symptoms.

There are specific herbal medicines and supplements that can be used to relieve the symptoms, however, which ones will be VERY specific to your current needs, and as your hormones shift these will also change.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *