Perimenopause and menopause are life stages that affect all women of a certain age. Perimenopause typically starts between the ages of 45 and 55, though it can start as early as 35 for some women. It is marked by a decline in estrogen production, leading to an irregular menstrual cycle. During perimenopause, women may experience a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, and reduced sex drive. Menopause officially begins 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period and signals the end of reproductive years.
Statistics show that perimenopause and menopause are common—the North American Menopause Society estimates that up to 75 percent of women suffer from perimenopause symptoms, yet many go untreated.
The following are the common perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Low sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- Memory problems
- Weight gain
To treat perimenopause and menopause symptoms, women can explore a variety of natural treatments such as lifestyle changes, supplements, and herbal remedies. Additionally, prescription medications may be recommended by a doctor to help reduce perimenopausal symptoms.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a type of treatment that uses hormones derived from plant sources to supplement deficient estrogen levels in perimenopausal and menopausal women. It can be extremely beneficial for managing perimenopause symptoms, but it is important to understand the risks before opting for BHRT.
There are various natural and medical treatments available to help manage perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Natural treatments include dietary changes, exercise, lifestyle modifications, herbal remedies, and vitamins. Medical treatments include hormone therapy (HT), non-hormonal therapy, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
Women should talk to their doctor to determine the best course of action for them and make sure they understand the risks associated with BHRT. Some studies suggest that there are certain groups of women who should not take hormone therapy, such as those with a history of breast cancer or stroke.
It is important for any woman considering BHT to be aware of the side effects and risks associated with the therapy. These can include: weight gain, hair loss, acne, breast tenderness, bloating and/or nausea, headaches and other symptoms of perimenopause or menopause. It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms may not be directly caused by BHT; rather they could be a result of the body’s normal hormonal changes.
In addition to side effects, there are also potential benefits associated with BHT. These include an improved quality of life, increased energy levels and a decrease in perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and vaginal dryness. There is also some evidence that BHT could reduce the risk of some cancers, such as breast cancer.
For perimenopausal and menopausal women who don’t want to take hormones, there are alternatives to manage perimenopause and menopause symptoms. These include lifestyle modifications such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Additionally, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and yoga can also be helpful in managing perimenopausal symptoms.
By understanding perimenopause and menopause, discussing symptoms with your doctor, and exploring treatment options, perimenopausal and menopausal women can find ways to manage their symptoms effectively.
*This content was written for educational purposes only and should not be used to replace medical advice from a healthcare professional. Before taking any treatment, perimenopausal women should consult with their doctor to determine which course of action is best for them. *
- https://medlineplus.gov/menopauseand perimenopause.html
- https://www.womenshealthnetwork .com/hormonal-balance/bhrt.aspx
- https://www.healthline .com/health/ perimenopause /alternative-perimenopausal-treatment
- https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/fulltext/2020/07000/acupuncture_for_ perimenopausal_symptoms___a.5.aspx
- https://www.ncbi.nlm .nih.gov/pmc /articles /PMC6922793/#:~:text=Yoga%20is%20a%20popular, perimenopause %2C%20menopause %2C and beyond.
- https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17456- perimenopause -and- menopause –an-overview
- https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/hormonal-balance/ perimenopausal -symptoms.aspx