You may have seen recently on our Facebook Page (Fight Fatigue, Stress & Anxiety Naturally) that we devised a poll about perimenopause. The general response was that the perimenopause was something that our community of ladies had only found about recently, or that they actually didn’t know about it at all. So, let’s give a little bit of definition to the term – perimenopause. Hannah Car, Naturopathic Nutritionist and health expert, has written this blog to support ladies in uncovering what the perimenopause is.
What is the perimenopause?
The word “peri” means about or around. So, putting it into perspective of the menopause, it means about or around the time of the menopause. First of all, let’s give clarity on what the menopause is – the menopause is just one day, which is 12 months after your last period stopped (the official end of your periods). 12 months after this day tells you when you hit the menopause. It’s a little bit like when you start your periods, that is just one day, so the actual start of menopause is just one day as well. The perimenopause is the time around that, and it is a much longer period of time (up to around 10 years for most women).
How long does perimenopause last?
It is worth noting here that perimenopause is a different experience for each individual woman. Women experience the perimenopause stage for, on average, between 6-7 years, but it could be much shorter. Or, you could have the menopause and not have any symptoms at all! However, for most women you’re going to feel the symptoms for around 6-7 years, and this stage is the transition period from having regular periods to hitting the official menopause. That transition period in between – the perimenopause – can actually be enormously disruptive on a physical level and on an emotional level – but it doesn’t have to be like that. We have a peri-menopause workshop available, designed especially for women like us, guiding you to learn to understand your symptoms and balance your hormones naturally to relieve the emotional and physical stress placed on the body.
Peri-menopause is a natural time for our body to start winding down. Most women feel the perimenopause around the age of 45, but for some women, changes can be noticeable from around the age of 35. So, you may feel perimenopausal symptoms from the age of 35 or from your early 40s, but for most women it will be around the mid 40s. Have you felt any symptoms yet? As I write this, I am 41 years young and I can tell you that I have definitely noticed some of the symptoms already.
What is happening to our body as we reach the peri-menopausal years?
As you reach the stage of perimenopause, the ovaries are producing fewer hormones because you’re ovulating less often, and you’re now approaching a time when you’re not going to be ovulating at all. As a result, your estrogen levels are fluctuating, and your progesterone levels drop too. Testosterone is a hormone that declines naturally with age anyway, so that is happening as part of the natural process. Clearly, there is a lot going on here, and we have learnt to recognise how important it is for us to understand our bodies, what is happening, and how to nourish our bodies – physically and mentally.
We will be sharing more blogs soon on the theme of perimenopausal health, but if you are keen to dive deeper into your symptoms and understanding the changes that are happening in your body, then head to our Perimenopause Workshop which is available on our website here.