Perimenopause is the transitional period before menopause. I call this a spiritual threshold. During perimenopause, a woman’s levels of oestrogen (important female hormone) start to decrease. During perimenopause, women start experiencing menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes or irregular periods. Perimenopause can last up to 8 years.
A physical perspective
During perimenopause, if we are still getting our period, even an irregular one, we're still ovulating. When we go for a full 12 months without a period, menopause has begun.
From our bodies we learn that , during menopause we start our transition into menopause, and during these years of transition, our ovaries produce less hormones, causing our menstrual cycle to become irregular. Our body starts moving toward the end of the reproductive years.
During perimenopause our body goes through many changes as it learns how to adjust to the different level of hormones. Our ovaries produce less oestrogen and as we become older we’ll stop releasing eggs, until we lose our ability to get pregnant. It’s a very natural and normal stage in a woman’s reproductive cycle.
So, what happens in the body during perimenopause? Throughout our reproductive time, we produce different oestrogen hormones. These hormones help us regulate our menstrual cycle, and pregnancy through a series of complex mechanisms. During perimenopause, our body's production of oestrogen and progesterone, key female hormones, rises and falls. Many of the changes we experience at this time are a result of decreasing oestrogen. Ovulation declines, monthly production of the uterine lining also declines during perimenopause, menstruation, the release of the uterine lining when there is no pregnancy, gradually ceases as well.
Some of the symptoms we experience during perimenopause are:
o Hot flashes and night sweats
o Breast tenderness
o Worsening of PMS symptoms
o Lower sex drive
o Irregular periods
o Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual
o Vaginal dryness
o Discomfort during sex
o Leaking pee when you cough or sneeze
o Having an urgent need to pee more frequently
o Mood changes | Irritability, anxiety, depression
o Trouble sleeping
o Joints pain
o Short-term memory problems
o Trouble concentrating
o Change in cholesterol levels…..
Perimenopause is not a standard transition with the same symptoms in every woman. Each one of us will experience this threshold in different ways.
If your symptoms of perimenopause are too much to tolerate and they start interfering with your life, please know that there is help at hand. You should reach out to your healthcare provider, acupuncturist, herbalist, homeopath… and schedule a chat with them to see what are the options.
Generally speaking the following can help:
o Follow a diet full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats
o Weight-bearing exercises like yoga, walking, hiking or gym training (with a trainer)
o Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake
o Meditation, yoga, energy healing to improve your general health and well-being
o Herbal remedies (from a qualifies herbal therapist and/or herbalist)
o Acupuncture and/or Ayurveda
o Quit smoking
o Ask your doctor if you should take any supplements
A spiritual perspective
Throughout life, women move through different cycles and sometimes the passage between one phase to another can be hard. When we reach the cycle of perimenopause and menopause, it is like the summation of our knowledge and experiences transforming into wisdom.
We move from the Maiden age to the Mother age to the Crone age
Menarche | Fertility | Wisdom
Although the experience through this transition is not always easy, it is certainly beautiful and powerful. On the threshold of perimenopause, we learn to let go of all that we are not anymore, of anything that doesn’t serve us, realizing that we are birthing ourselves into someone different, full of wisdom, incredibly powerful, deeply loving, bad ass empresses without fear….
During this process is always wise to remember we are not broken and we don’t need to be healed or “fixed”, we are simply losing a part of us that needs to go so that we can embrace the next stage of our lives.
These steps that can support us, but remember that the most important one is to support and love ourselves fiercely.
Help comes in different ways:
o Support and love ourselves fiercely
o Yoga, walking, training
o Meditation and Breathing exercises
o Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
o Create good sleeping patterns by avoiding screen time before going to bed
o Eat as healthy as possible with more fruits and vegetables and healthy fats
o Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Homeopathy…
o Ask our doctor for supplements like vitamin D and E ….
o Alternative therapies: energy healing, shamanic healing….
o Rite of passage ceremony
I hope you find this article useful. And if you’d like to walk through the threshold with me, I am here to hold your hand and support you along the way:
© 2023 Michela Sborchia ALL RIGHTS RESERVED