What is Perimenopause?
Everyone seems to know the definition of menopause. This is when your periods have stopped for one full year. But what really is Perimenopause?
This is the 5-10 years prior to menopause where hormone levels start to fluctuate and eventually decrease. Most women don’t recognize this as a hormonal change and generally see it as life just becoming a little harder or having a few more “bad days”. The closest feeling to Perimenopause is PMS or premenstrual syndrome. This is where you feel cranky, irritable and unable to cope. Other symptoms are anger, anxiety, mood swings, difficulty retrieving information from memory and a decreased sexual drive.
Common patient comments are “I think I’m losing it”, “I’m going crazy” or “I’m so stressed”.
Somewhere around age 35 one of your hormone levels, Progesterone, starts to fall. This is partially why women of this age have decreased fertility, irritability, and increased PMS. Estrogen and Testosterone decline next, usually, closer to age 50.
The proper balance of all your hormones in symphony is key!
When progesterone drops yet estrogen stays the same, there is an estrogen dominance. This imbalance causes irregular, heavier menstrual bleeding, breast tenderness, headaches, hair loss, insomnia, uterine fibroids, uterine cancer and much more. Early recognition of your imbalance means an easier transition to menopause and the avoidance of the long-term sequelae.
How can you test for Perimenopause?
Hormone testing is very simple by either saliva, urine or blood.
Treatment of Perimenopause
Simple changes in diet, exercise, sleep, smoking cessation, proper vitamin and nutrient supplementation may alleviate a majority of symptoms. In addition to these, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is available. Careful testing allows us to replace only the hormones which have decreased with a customized dosage and route of administration. This is not a “one size fits all” pill. You are an individual and you deserve to be treated with customized Medical care.
In addition to hormones, there are many natural supplements which we prescribe to help you ease into the greatest years of your life.
Click to our simple quiz to see if you are in Perimenopause.