Perimenopause 101: How to Create Hormonal Harmony

Perimenopause is a transitional time before the onset of menopause. Most women experience symptoms related to perimenopause in their 40’s and 50’s, but sometimes it can start in their late 30’s. Symptoms fall on a spectrum; and can include irregular menstrual cycles, irritability, and hot flashes. Relief comes in the form of hormonal balance, achieved by taking care of yourself, and getting professional help if necessary.

Share This Post

Charlotte, 39, describes her life as relatively drama-free. Well, maybe there was a little bit of drama. She did have two teenage daughters, and her youngest daughter would make that “three teenage daughters” when she turned 13 this fall.  

This fall, when she sent them back to school. During a pandemic. Ok, it was dramatic. And she was in denial.

With her 40th birthday on the near horizon, she thought life should be easier right now. She thought with age came wisdom, right? Her emotions are a roller coaster. Her husband accuses her of acting like their teenage daughters, laughing one minute and crying the next. Something is off with her body too. For the past year, her periods have been more and more irregular. When discussing this with her friends, one of them mentioned something about “perimenopause.” 

Perimenopause? Like menopause? Wasn’t she too young for that?

What is Perimenopause?

For most women, the forties signify a time of hormonal transition. It is a time when their bodies move from a childbearing state to menopause. Menopause is a fixed point in time. It is defined clinically as the date twelve months after your last period.

The symptoms leading up that date are labeled as “perimenopause.” Peri, a Greek word for “around” or “near” menopause, refers to this hormonal transitional state. The average age menopause occurs is 51 years, but there is a wide range of what is considered normal. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, can cause a women’s body to enter menopause earlier than expected.

Perimenopause Can Equal Hormonal Havoc

Some women describe perimenopause as a “second wave puberty”. Symptoms of perimenopause fall on a spectrum. Some women report minimal symptoms; some suffer through the transition with no relief, while most fall someplace between the two.

Hormones, namely, progesterone and estrogen are responsible for the changes you experience during perimenopause. The menstrual cycle itself is controlled mainly through these two hormones. The first reproductive hormone to decline is progesterone, followed by estrogen. The decline in progesterone is what contributes to cycle irregularity, which is the hallmark sign of perimenopause. Also, at first, estrogen levels remain stable or even increase. This is what is known as “estrogen dominance.” Women report symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, water retention, and trouble sleeping.

Estrogen is the last hormone to decline in the perimenopausal transition. As you go through the final stages of perimenopause, your body will produce less and less estrogen. Symptoms of estrogen decline are hot flashes, night sweats, mental confusion, vaginal dryness, and urinary incontinence. 

After reading all of this, you may be dreading this change in your life. The beautiful thing is there are things you can do now to prevent this from being a negative experience in your life. Hormones are a part of life, and when balanced help your body to achieve optimal functioning. Working to achieve balance, both externally and internally, is the key to a fulfilling perimenopausal transition.

5 Ways to Create Hormonal Harmony in Perimenopause

1) Optimize hormonal balance – find a healthcare professional trained in women’s health, specifically hormone replacement therapy, who can help achieve this balance. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not always the right choice for every woman, clinicians with expertise in this area can help in other ways as well. 

2) Clean up your diet – add cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli or cabbage, to support healthy estrogen metabolism.

3) Make bedtime a priority – sleep in a cool, dark room, and avoid electronics one hour before bed.

4) Seek out social connections – women were not meant to handle life alone. Plus, spending time with those you love increases levels of oxytocin (the “bonding” or “love” hormone).

5) Get outside – spending time outside, even just for a 15- minute walk, can improve your mental mindset. 

The Bottom Line

Perimenopause is a transitional time that signifies the end of your reproductive years. Taking care of yourself, changing your mindset, and reaching out for help when needed are ways you can make the experience positive rather than negative. 

Reference List

Menopause 101: A primer for the perimenopausal. NAMS: The North American Menopause Society. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal

Northrup C. Is This Your Perimenopause Transition? January 14, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.drnorthrup.com/perimenopause-transition/

Cabeca A. The Hormone Fix: burn fat naturally, boost energy, sleep better, and stop hot flashes, The Keto-Green™ Way. Ballantine Books;2019. 

Sesame Care

Find the best price for great doctors and specialists

  • Thousands of doctors and specialists
  • $13,000,000+ saved by patients
  • 95% patient satisfaction
  • 4.3 on TrustPilot
     

Popular Destinations

Health

Medication

Telehealth Reviews

Shop

Pharmacist Membership

About Us

Pharmacy Near Me

Recent Articles

Share On:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Nexplanon Implant: Is the Most Effective Birth Control on the Market Right for You?

Nexplanon is the newest form of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) that provides pregnancy prevention for up to three years. Nexplanon replaced the contraceptive implant

Nutrafol Review: Are These Hair Supplements Effective?

Nutrafol is a telehealth company that offers a range of hair supplements for both men and women. Are these supplements effective, though?

Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth: Do They Work?

Many women who aren’t expecting take prenatal vitamins for longer hair and stronger nails. This guide from Pharmacists.org explains if this strategy works.

Addyi, the “Little Pink Pill,” Offers Hope to Women Suffering from Low Sexual Desire

So what if there was a solution? An easy, once-daily pill. Let’s get to know Addyi and the facts behind the “little pink pill.”

How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection in 24 Hours

As gross as it might sound, fungus is everywhere around us whether we can see it or not – including on top and inside

Hers Hair Review: Are Their Hair Loss Products Effective?

Hers is one telemedicine company looking to provide women with a solution for hair loss. The products found in their Hers Complete Hair Kit

Pap Smears: Everything You Need to Know

If you are a woman, there's a good chance that you will need to get a pap smear at some point in your life.

Fluconazole: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions

Fluconazole is an antifungal medication commonly used for the treatment of fungal infections like yeast infections, fungal meningitis, athlete’s foot, and more.

What Is Nystatin Cream Used For?

If you find yourself wondering what is nystatin cream used for, you may be surprised by the applications it has to a very common

More Than PMS: Could it Be PMDD?

PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is a more severe form of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). The symptoms can cause extreme mood shifts that negatively impact relationships,

Does ScalpMed Work? Review and How To Use

ScalpMed is no more a mystery. Read full article and find in depth overview of hair regrowth product. Article includes real-life examples.

How Much Hair Loss is Normal?

The average person loses 50 to 100 strands of loose hair per day. Losing more hair without regrowing new hair can be a sign

Rory Review: Online Pharmacy and Supplements

Rory is a women’s telemedicine service that offers transparent pricing, quick and convenient online consultations, and highly qualified providers.

What are the side effects of Midol?

Midol is a common and popular brand of painkiller that many women use to treat their headaches. Unfortunately, there are some side effects associated

What is Estradiol: Uses, Costs, and Dosage

Estradiol, sometimes referred to as oestradiol (E2), is the strongest of the three estrogens that are naturally produced in the body.

Midol and You: What is Midol, What is in it, and How does it work?

Midol is a brand of medication used to treat pain and menstrual cramps. There are several different types of Midol, each with their own

For Thinning Hair: Minoxidil Foam

Here is your guide on minoxidil foam, its use, and whether the product is right for you. 

What is Vestibular Papillomatosis and How Do I Treat It?

Vestibular papillomatosis is a condition that occurs in women on their vulva, which are the external parts of female genitalia. These tiny bumps can

Does Minoxidil work?

With so many promises of stronger, longer, thicker hair it may be difficult to know whether minoxidil, a topical hair growth treatment, really works.

Surprising Reasons Why Women Lose Their Hair (And How You Can Prevent It)

The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 strands a day. As people age, the rate of