Perimenopause can be a roller coaster ride for many with lots of hormonal ups and downs. This is the time when your body starts showing the symptoms to indicate a change that is possible in near future. These symptoms may be annoying at times but the good thing is that they won’t last forever. Perimenopause is the beginning of hormone change but it is not the end of life and sooner you understand this better you would be able to handle the symptoms.
What is Perimenopause?
The literal meaning of perimenopause is the ‘period near menopause’ that comes from the Greek language where the meaning of the word ‘Peri’ is around or near. This period can last for a few months to a few years or even a few decades in certain cases. The main reason behind this condition is the decline in ovary functioning. Some women may experience irregular and heavy menstrual flow while others may pass this phase without much of irregularities. Whatever may be your body type, it is important to know about this phase to ease out the symptoms to great extent.
What Causes Perimenopause?
As stated earlier, the main cause of perimenopause is a decrease in ovarian function. Ovaries produce estrogen, a female hormone that plays a major role in the functioning of the menstrual cycle. A sharp fluctuation in the estrogen levels during the 28-day menstrual cycle may result in irregular periods and related symptoms. The drop in estrogen levels is gradual and hence the duration of perimenopause is not clear. This condition ends only when the official menopause is declared and that is when one full year passes after your last period. This is the time when estrogen levels go very low and no further eggs are produced, hence there won’t be periods.
What Causes Early Menopause?
As perimenopause is directly connected to menopause, it will be important to understand the reasons behind early menopause. Common reasons for early menopause include –
- Having early menopause history in the family.
- Undergone oophorectomy or hysterectomy
- Certain medications and cancer treatment
- Heavy smoking
In the case of early menopause, there are chances that the perimenopause would start even in the late 30s.
Common Symptoms of Perimenopause
The common symptoms of perimenopause include the following –
- Irregular periods with very heavy or light bleeding
- Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness
- Headaches, muscle aches, and heart palpitation
- Weight and hair changes
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Lowered sex drive and fertility
While the major cause behind perimenopause is lowered estrogen levels, the treatment for the same also includes estrogen supplements. Your doctor may prescribe estrogen therapy to regulate the estrogen levels in order to eradicate the fluctuation in estrogen levels. Estrogen supplements are available as over the counter or prescribed medicine based on its formulation. These drugs are a combination of estrogen and progestin that are available in the form of skin patches, creams, gels, and even oral pills.
Perimenopause symptoms may last long and home remedies come in handy for long term results. Here are some home remedies that can help you enjoy symptom-free perimenopause!
- Limit your caffeine intake. If possible avoid caffeine past noon as this will ease your insomnia issue that eventually results in anxiety and mood swings.
- Avoid smoking and bring down alcohol consumption to reduce hormone fluctuation. Smoking can lead to early menopause; hence make sure you avoid smoking altogether to keep your system healthy.
- Take nutritious meals and also break each meal into small portions to ensure proper digestion and avoid bloating. Light meals at night will ensure that you get proper sleep and wake up fresh.
Apart from the above home remedies, the most important is to be physically active. Indulging in light exercise routines like Yoga or walk can keep you happy and bring down the symptoms of perimenopause considerably. Avoid indulging in any type of physical exercise at night time as this will hinder your sleeping pattern and may result in insomnia.
Perimenopause is just a phase that will pass with time, but it should not affect your life and that is possible only with proper diet and physical activity. It can be treated with hormone treatment but more than that introducing certain lifestyle changes would give you long-term results.
This article was written by Karishma, a freelance content writer. She mainly writes on health and lifestyle subjects. Her recent freelancing project was from Nutra Pure hCG, an online shop for homeopathic diet drops, that helps to lose weight naturally.