As women approach their late 30s and 40s, hormonal changes begin to take place as the body prepares for menopause. During this time known as perimenopause, women may experience a variety of symptoms. The symptoms associated with perimenopause are very similar to those associated with menopause but the key difference is that you are considered to be in menopause when you have not had a period for more than a year. Prior to that, you are considered to be perimenopausal. If you begin to experience symptoms of perimenopause, it is important to consult a naturopath experienced in women’s hormone health because there are a variety of treatments, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes that can help manage or eliminate symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Perimenopause:
- Irregular periods: Your menstrual cycle may become irregular, shorter or longer, heavier or lighter.
- Hot flashes and night sweats: You may experience sudden and intense feelings of heat and sweating, particularly at night.
- Mood changes: You may experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
- Sleep disturbances: You may have trouble sleeping or staying asleep.
- Vaginal dryness: You may experience dryness, itching, and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Decreased libido: You may experience a decreased interest in sexual activity.
- Changes in urinary function: You may experience more frequent urination, urinary incontinence, or urinary tract infections.
- Physical changes: You may experience weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, and other changes in your body.
If you are experiencing some or all of the aforementioned symptoms, there are many ways to treat and manage symptoms. Some simple ways that anyone can begin to treat symptoms is with a well-rounded, nutritionally-dense diet. Additionally, exercise, meditation, and more sleep may help. What will work best is highly individual and it is important that you speak to your physician about what is best for your individual health. Your naturopathic physician may also recommend herbal remedies and other supplements that may be beneficial. These include things like black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, evening primrose oil, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. Additionally, depending on your symptoms, you may need BHRT – Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Perimenopause may be a natural part of life but it doesn’t mean you have to suffer with symptoms in silence. Speak to your naturopath to learn about different ways to manage and treat your perimenopause symptoms.