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The Other Change: Perimenopause & Menopause

If you've ever found yourself scratching your head over terms like perimenopause and menopause, wondering what on earth is happening to your body, you're in the right place. It is time that I talk about the world of hormonal changes, hot flashes, and everything in between. So grab a cup and let's chat about the 'other change' together!

Understanding Perimenopause and Menopause:

Picture this: Your body's hormones are throwing a wild party, and you're not entirely sure if you're invited. That's perimenopause for you—the prelude to menopause. It's like a hormonal rollercoaster where oestrogen levels decide to go on a joyride, leaving you feeling like you're on shaky ground.

Perimenopause typically starts in your 40s, but it can happen earlier or later for some people. You might notice irregular periods, mood swings, and those dreaded hot flashes making an appearance.

And then there's menopause, the grand finale where Aunt Flo takes a permanent vacation. Cue the hot flashes, mood swings, and a whole host of other surprises that can leave you feeling like you're living in a sauna. Menopause lasts an average of 7 years for most women, but can vary in symptom severity and length. Here is a map of what to expect. 

What is the medical definition of Peri and Menopause?

Perimenopause is the transitional period leading up to menopause.  During perimenopause estrogen, one of the essential female hormones, starts to decrease. Estrogen has over 200 functions in a woman's body so no wonder there are symptoms of its decline. 

The diagnosis of menopause is when you go a full twelve months without a period. You're still ovulating if you are still getting your period, even irregularly, which means you’re still releasing eggs. The second most common age for unintended pregnancies is during menopause, so be aware. 

Things to expect during Perimenopause...

• Irregular periods or skipped periods.

• Bleeding more than usual during periods.

• Hot flashes.

• Vaginal dryness.

• Frequent urination.

• Sleep problems, like insomnia and night sweats.

• Mood changes, including irritability or depression.

• Decreasing infertility

• Changes in sexual function

• Cholesterol changes

• Loss of bone mass

• Cardiometabolic changes

• Less favorable fat distribution

• Increased systemic inflammation

• Cognitive health issues - like forgetful 

Yep, there is a lot to look forward to, get excited! 🥴 Okay maybe not super excited but there is this...

Navigating the Unknown:

First things first, it's essential to communicate openly with your healthcare provider. They can help you understand what to expect and recommend appropriate treatments or lifestyle changes. Inquire about any natural remedies or lifestyle changes that can help alleviate symptoms.

Don't be afraid to ask questions or seek a second opinion if needed.

From hormone tests to lifestyle tweaks, there's a whole toolbox of resources at your disposal. Whether it's exploring hormone replacement therapy (HRT), experimenting with natural supplements, or embracing stress-reducing activities like yoga or meditation, finding what works for you is key.

Supporting Your Well-Being:

Self-care isn't just a buzzword—it's essential, especially during times of hormonal upheaval. Whether it's carving out time for relaxation, prioritising sleep, or indulging in your favourite hobbies, taking care of yourself is key to navigating perimenopause and menopause with grace.

Don't forget to lean on your support network—whether it's your partner, friends, or fellow parents who are going through the same journey. Sharing experiences and tips can be incredibly empowering and remind you that you're not alone.

Parenting is no easy feat, and neither is navigating perimenopause and menopause. But remember, you're not alone in this journey. Whether you're seeking advice, support, or just a listening ear, know that there's a community of parents out there cheering you on.

So here's to embracing the highs and lows, the hot flashes and hormonal fluctuations, and everything in between. Because at the end of the day, it's all part of the beautiful, messy journey of life. Cheers to you, fellow parents, and here's to thriving through every stage of womanhood! Now get educated by checking out the resources below. 


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