Peri-menopause – what you need to know

Peri-menopause – what you need to know

by Natalie L 23 Feb 2020

Every woman goes through a cycle of hormonal changes in her lifetime, and each phase coincides with a particular stage of life. When it comes to hormonal health, it is critical for women to be proactive. The menopausal phase is a perfect example of why being proactive is important; women can reduce the negative symptoms of an oestrogen dip and feel much happier during this phase if they know what steps to take. Today, most women already know what menopause is, but few have heard of peri-menopause before or understand what it entails. Here's what you need to know about peri-menopause and how you can conquer it.


When it occurs

Though closely related to the menopausal stage, the two are not exactly the same. Peri-menopause is the transitional stage which precedes menopause by about 10 years. Thus, it usually begins when a women is in the 4th or 5th decade of her life.


How it affects you

During this phase, women will experience symptoms similar to menopause as both of these phases are characterised by a decrease in oestrogen production by the ovaries. Nevertheless, even though oestrogen levels are low, it is still possible for women to get pregnant during this phase of their lives. Some of the major symptoms in the peri-menopausal phase include hot flashes, irritability, irregular period cycles, weight-gain and mood swings — all of which can be very uncomfortable for women. 


What you can do about it

Peri-menopause is a natural phase of life which every woman will eventually go through, so it's exactly something one can avoid. However, it is definitely not necessary for women to suffer during this phase. Here are some ways which might help you to overcome the physical discomforts associated with peri-menopause:


Lifestyle changes:

  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid daytime naps


Medical options:

  • Oestrogen replacement therapy
  • Medication for other related clinical conditions


Just like any other phase of the female hormonal cycle, the peri-menopausal phase might seem daunting at first. Nevertheless, with the right attitude and adequate preparation, you can conquer this phase and take full control of your hormonal health. Remember: this is a natural part of life so your body is well-equipped to deal with it, even if you don't realise it!