Symptoms of Perimenopause and Menopause

What is Menopause?

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The average age of beginning perimenopause is 47 1/2 and the average age of menopause is 51. The very day we are one year past our last period, we are AT menopause by definition.

Most of us are born with about a million eggs but only about 400 of them mature during our lifetime. As we enter our 40s, fewer eggs develop, causing irregular periods. This transition before our period ends is perimenopause.

Our early perimenopausal symptoms are the result of fluctuating hormones progesterone and estrogen. In menopause, most of us produce about ⅔ the former level of estrogen, making our transition to wise-woman-hood easier.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance

Depression & Anxiety

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Thirty percent of women experience depression and anxiety during the menopausal transition. Depression is often associated with lack of sleep due to hot flashes and minimal exercise.

Consuming omega-3s from wild, cold-water fish, seafood and fish oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds, can help alleviate depression.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on mood and midlife.

Menstrual Changes

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Changes in our menstrual cycles are often the first sign of perimenopause. When our menstrual cycle is consistently 7+ days different in length than before, we are likely at the beginning of the transition into menopause.

Usually our cycles become more irregular two years before the last period. Black women tend to experience a longer total transition into menopause (El Khoudary et al, 2019.) The shorter a woman’s cycle before perimenopause, the shorter her transition to menopause.

During perimenopause, progesterone is dropping and getting out of whack with estrogen, causing more frequent PMS.

In the perimenopausal years, Vitex (chasteberry) can help balance our cycle by increasing the production of progesterone. It has been shown to lessen the challenges of PMS by 50% in 3 months (Weed, 2002).

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on menstrual changes and midlife.

Poor Sleep

Learn More

During perimenopause, sleep can be disrupted, in part due to night sweats. Some women have insomnia, and others find that sleep just isn’t as refreshing as it once was.

Insufficient sleep increases our stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), messes with our blood sugar, and makes weight gain more likely.

When we work on screens at night, we are telling our bodies that it is time to reduce melatonin production and awaken our senses for the day. Wearing lenses that block blue light can decrease insomnia and improve sleep. Getting outside in the morning also helps stabilize that rhythm.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on improving your sleep.

Weight Gain

Learn More

Starting in perimenopause, many women notice an average weight gain of about five pounds, often in the form of belly fat. If you have gained a few pounds, your body could be working on balancing your hormones.

Excess weight, on the other hand, can accelerate aging and increase cancer risk.

Consider increasing your omega-3s (from fish, fish oil, chia seeds and flax seeds) and starting a strength-training program to add muscle and improve your metabolism.

In perimenopause and menopause, sugar more easily becomes stored as fat. Refined carbs, processed foods, alcohol, and sugar should be reduced, as they raise our blood sugar, contributing to insulin resistance and weight gain.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on weight and midlife.

Brain Fog

Learn More

Changes in memory and focus often frighten women in midlife. If you are experiencing brain fog right now, it is unlikely related to future cognitive decline.

The herb Bacopa (Brahmi) is amazing at sharpening our minds, while simultaneously soothing our anxiety! It can improve focus and memory and has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine.

Exercise improves mood and cognitive health, and provides long-term prevention from dementia.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on brain health and midlife.

Urinary Changes

Learn More

Changes in vaginal tissue can lead to urinary difficulties. This is a result of both decreased estrogen, and age.

Foods such as coffee, tea, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and sweet drinks can trigger frequent urination. Keeping the vaginal muscles and tissues toned with Kegel exercises is critical to our urinary health.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on urinary changes and midlife.

Hot Flashes

Learn More

Vasomotor symptoms, or hot flashes and night sweats, are super common. 85% of us get them and 48% of us get night sweats. On average, vasomotor symptoms persist for 7 1/2 years and sometimes more than 10.

Recent research shows that women who get hot flashes are at greater risk for cardiovascular illness, greater bone loss and cognitive decline.

The same fluctuating hormones that cause hot flashes (or hot flushes), also cause cardiometabolic imbalances, including higher LDL cholesterol and insulin resistance. Hot flashes and night sweats should be considered wake-up calls for self-care.

One of our favorite remedies to reduce hot flashes is flaxseed. Freshly-ground flaxseed can lower hot flashes by 50%, as well as lower inflammation, and keep the vagina lubricated. Foods that trigger hot flashes include alcohol, caffeine and sugar.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on reducing hot flashes and night sweats

Hormonal Changes

Learn More

Hormonal changes can bring:
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Cramps, bloating, and breast tenderness
  • Weight gain and water retention
  • Hot flashes, night sweats and loss of sleep
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and Brain Fog
  • Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, decreased sex drive
  • Dry skin
  • Bone and muscle loss

Vaginal Health

Learn More

One of the least fun aspects of all this is vaginal dryness and painful sex. 75-80% of postmenopausal women experience some thinning and dryness of the vagina, which is referred to as vaginal atrophy in medicine.

50% of women report that these vaginal changes affect their sex lives.

Being sexually active, with a partner or alone, continues to bring blood to vaginal tissues. They will stay healthier and more toned - the use-it-or-lose-it concept!

Application of coconut oil (MCT oil) and/or pure aloe vera can keep the vagina moist, healthy and lubed, can prevent itching and can help thinning or changing tissue repair itself!

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on the vagina and midlife.

Feeling Good?!

Learn More

When we are able to take time to nurture our creativity and our newest adventures, our spirits respond. We no longer need to live up to the expectations of others, and instead can be fully and truly our own f---ing selves. We can learn to be curious and care deeply for our changing bodies.

It is important to be intentional about our cognitive, heart and bone health at this moment in our lives. In perimenopause, bone loss accelerates and we are all at greater risk for heart-related disease.

The function of our brain, heart and bone cells are influenced by both nutritional status and our hormones, and can be improved by diet and lifestyle. This means that the antioxidants and phytoestrogens in vegetables and beans, the progesterone-supportive herbs like Vitex, the healthy fats (from nuts, seeds and fish), and stress reduction, can all make a difference in how we feel now and can keep us healthier into the future.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on longevity.


What is Menopause?

The average age of beginning perimenopause is 47 1/2 and the average age of menopause is 51. The very day we are one year past our last period, we are AT menopause by definition.

Most of us are born with about a million eggs but only about 400 of them mature during our lifetime. As we enter our 40s, fewer eggs develop, causing irregular periods. This transition before our period ends is perimenopause.

Our early perimenopausal symptoms are the result of fluctuating hormones progesterone and estrogen. In menopause, most of us produce about ⅔ the former level of estrogen, making our transition to wise-woman-hood easier.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance

Depression & Anxiety

Thirty percent of women experience depression and anxiety during the menopausal transition. Depression is often associated with lack of sleep due to hot flashes and minimal exercise.

Consuming omega-3s from wild, cold-water fish, seafood and fish oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds, can help alleviate depression.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on mood and midlife.

Menstrual Changes

Changes in our menstrual cycles are often the first sign of perimenopause. When our menstrual cycle is consistently 7+ days different in length than before, we are likely at the beginning of the transition into menopause.

Usually our cycles become more irregular two years before the last period. Black women tend to experience a longer total transition into menopause (El Khoudary et al, 2019.) The shorter a woman’s cycle before perimenopause, the shorter her transition to menopause.

During perimenopause, progesterone is dropping and getting out of whack with estrogen, causing more frequent PMS.

In the perimenopausal years, Vitex (chasteberry) can help balance our cycle by increasing the production of progesterone. It has been shown to lessen the challenges of PMS by 50% in 3 months (Weed, 2002).

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on menstrual changes and midlife.

Poor Sleep

During perimenopause, sleep can be disrupted, in part due to night sweats. Some women have insomnia, and others find that sleep just isn’t as refreshing as it once was.

Insufficient sleep increases our stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), messes with our blood sugar, and makes weight gain more likely.

When we work on screens at night, we are telling our bodies that it is time to reduce melatonin production and awaken our senses for the day. Wearing lenses that block blue light can decrease insomnia and improve sleep. Getting outside in the morning also helps stabilize that rhythm.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on improving your sleep.

Weight Gain

Starting in perimenopause, many women notice an average weight gain of about five pounds, often in the form of belly fat. If you have gained a few pounds, your body could be working on balancing your hormones.

Excess weight, on the other hand, can accelerate aging and increase cancer risk.

Consider increasing your omega-3s (from fish, fish oil, chia seeds and flax seeds) and starting a strength-training program to add muscle and improve your metabolism.

In perimenopause and menopause, sugar more easily becomes stored as fat. Refined carbs, processed foods, alcohol, and sugar should be reduced, as they raise our blood sugar, contributing to insulin resistance and weight gain.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on weight and midlife.

Brain Fog

Changes in memory and focus often frighten women in midlife. If you are experiencing brain fog right now, it is unlikely related to future cognitive decline.

The herb Bacopa (Brahmi) is amazing at sharpening our minds, while simultaneously soothing our anxiety! It can improve focus and memory and has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine.

Exercise improves mood and cognitive health, and provides long-term prevention from dementia.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on brain health and midlife.

Urinary Changes

Changes in vaginal tissue can lead to urinary difficulties. This is a result of both decreased estrogen, and age.

Foods such as coffee, tea, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and sweet drinks can trigger frequent urination. Keeping the vaginal muscles and tissues toned with Kegel exercises is critical to our urinary health.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on urinary changes and midlife.

Hot Flashes

Vasomotor symptoms, or hot flashes and night sweats, are super common. 85% of us get them and 48% of us get night sweats. On average, vasomotor symptoms persist for 7 1/2 years and sometimes more than 10.

Recent research shows that women who get hot flashes are at greater risk for cardiovascular illness, greater bone loss and cognitive decline.

The same fluctuating hormones that cause hot flashes (or hot flushes), also cause cardiometabolic imbalances, including higher LDL cholesterol and insulin resistance. Hot flashes and night sweats should be considered wake-up calls for self-care.

One of our favorite remedies to reduce hot flashes is flaxseed. Freshly-ground flaxseed can lower hot flashes by 50%, as well as lower inflammation, and keep the vagina lubricated. Foods that trigger hot flashes include alcohol, caffeine and sugar.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on reducing hot flashes and night sweats

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can bring:

  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Cramps, bloating, and breast tenderness
  • Weight gain and water retention
  • Hot flashes, night sweats and loss of sleep
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and Brain Fog
  • Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, decreased sex drive
  • Dry skin
  • Bone and muscle loss

Vaginal Health

One of the least fun aspects of all this is vaginal dryness and painful sex. 75-80% of postmenopausal women experience some thinning and dryness of the vagina, which is referred to as vaginal atrophy in medicine.

50% of women report that these vaginal changes affect their sex lives.

Being sexually active, with a partner or alone, continues to bring blood to vaginal tissues. They will stay healthier and more toned – the use-it-or-lose-it concept!

Application of coconut oil (MCT oil) and/or pure aloe vera can keep the vagina moist, healthy and lubed, can prevent itching and can help thinning or changing tissue repair itself!

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click if you would like more information and guidance on the vagina and midlife.

Feeling Good?!

When we are able to take time to nurture our creativity and our newest adventures, our spirits respond. We no longer need to live up to the expectations of others, and instead can be fully and truly our own f—ing selves. We can learn to be curious and care deeply for our changing bodies.

It is important to be intentional about our cognitive, heart and bone health at this moment in our lives. In perimenopause, bone loss accelerates and we are all at greater risk for heart-related disease.

The function of our brain, heart and bone cells are influenced by both nutritional status and our hormones, and can be improved by diet and lifestyle. This means that the antioxidants and phytoestrogens in vegetables and beans, the progesterone-supportive herbs like Vitex, the healthy fats (from nuts, seeds and fish), and stress reduction, can all make a difference in how we feel now and can keep us healthier into the future.

Become the expert of your own menopause. Click here if you would like more information and guidance on longevity.

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