Dealing with Perimenopause

woman public IIby Pam Andrews, author of Perimenopause: Have It, Live It, Love It!

Understanding perimenopause

Perimenopause, the stage before menopause, can last for two to eight years. This two to eight-year period is characterized by irregular menstruation. The period of menopause is completed once the menstrual period has not occurred for one year. After that, a woman
enters the post-menopause phase when she can no longer get pregnant.

The symptoms vary from one woman to another, but here are the common symptoms experienced by perimenopausal women. This list of symptoms must be treated as a guide and must not replace the advice of a medical professional.

Irregular menstrual cycles – either longer or shorter
Changes in menstrual flow – either lighter or heavier
Fatigue that lasts for days before the menstrual period begins
Lack of sex drive
Weight gain
Dryness in the vaginal area (this is due to the reduction in the elasticity of the
vaginal tissues)
More incidences of vaginal infections
More incidences of yeast infections
Urinary incontinence
Night sweats
Mood swings and feelings of irritability
Hot flashes

Perimenopausal women must take care of themselves because this is a critical stage when the risk for bone loss and osteoporosis is high. Get a bone-density test early. Consider performing light exercise, most especially if you haven’t done so in the past. Regular
exercise can save you from the pain and discomfort that’s associated with bone loss.

Some natural remedies for perimenopause symptoms

Phytoestrogens. These are plant-based substances that imitate the effects of estrogen in a woman’s body. Unlike synthetic estrogen therapy, eating phytoestrogens do not have side effects. One of the best sources of phytoestrogens in food is soy protein. You can start with tofu.

Dong quai. This herb has long been associated with reducing PMS symptoms. The downside is that it promotes heavier menstrual flow.

Black cohosh. This herb has been used to relieve the symptoms of PMS. It also contains phytoestrogens, so it can readily serve as a natural remedy for hot flashes and menstrual cramps.

Keep yourself fit. Eat lots of whole fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine, soda, and processed foods. Get plenty of sleep at night.

What you should know about perimenopause spotting complications

The hormonal changes in the woman’s body during perimenopause result in uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating early menopause symptoms. One of these symptoms is spotting. Spotting is the production of brown (sometimes red or pink) vaginal discharge. It is normal, in most cases, but there are special circumstances wherein spotting becomes a cause for concern.

Spotting is a common perimenopause symptom. To know if there are possible complications and to ascertain whether or not the spotting is what it seems to be – normal spotting – you must always keep a detailed record of your menstrual periods. Here are the
things that you need to jot down: when your periods began, when they ended, the number of times you had changed your pads each day of your menstrual period, the quantity of blood flow (whether it is light or heavy), and if there were blood clots present.

That brown vaginal discharge can be nothing but harmless uterine cells that you have shed off your body. Lifestyle changes towards a healthier body, dietary improvements, frequent exercises, and drinking plenty of water can address the spotting issue.

Spotting or bleeding is considered abnormal if it happens just after sexual intercourse, in between your menstrual periods, and lasts for more than fourteen days. The normal length of the menstrual cycle is less than fourteen days, so it is not normal to bleed consistently or show spotting for more than two weeks.

Abnormal spotting may point to underlying diseases, like hormonal imbalances, hyperplasia, uterine fibroids, cancer of the vagina, uterus and cervix, and hypothyroidism. It is best to get checked by a doctor as early as possible if something does not seem right
with your spotting.

Polyps or endometrial polyps are benign tumors that develop along the lining of the uterus; they cause prolonged bleeding or heavy bleeding. Fibroids, on the other hand, are benign tumors which cause heavy bleeding. Fibroids tend to grow during perimenopause
and subside once menopause has passed.

Consult with a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:

You have extraordinarily heavy bleeding. You have been changing pads multiple times within a twenty-four hour period. And you have not encountered that level of heavy menstrual flow in the past.

After your menses have stopped for a period of six months, you suddenly experience bleeding or spotting. Your bleeding has lasted for more than two weeks.

Note from the Author

When I was undergoing perimenopause, sipping green tea was helpful in soothing me. I also looked for natural remedies that bring about calming effects. One of them is lavender. Perhaps, that is why this scent is popular among aromatherapy buffs. A drop
or two of lavender essential oil behind the neck or on my wrist has helped me with my depressive moods. I also perform light exercise in the morning in the form of a thirty-minute leisure walk with my puppy, Snowy.

Pam Andrews is the author of “Perimenopause: Have It, Live It, Love It!’ To understand perimenopause, visit


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