Monday, August 5, 2013

Signs of Perimenopause - Menopause and Treatment Options

Perimenopause is a period of 2 to 10 years before Menopause actually sets in. Menopause is said to have begun if you miss your period for a full year or more straight.

Perimenopause and menopause are inevitable parts of a life if you are a woman. It doesn't have to be as dreadful as some have made it out to be. All women go through them but not all of them will have the same symptoms and neither will the intensity of the symptoms be the same. As one woman, your symptoms can vary from month to month and in intensity.

Signs of Perimenopause - Menopause

Weight gain could indicate early menopause and can occur for two reasons. One reason is due to an increased appetite and a decrease in exercising. The second reason could be due to the body's retention of water.

Mood swings can be associated with the fluctuating hormone levels which can be very erratic in many women. Depression, anxiety, and irritability may accompany mood swings.

Fibroid cysts in the breast and/or uterus may form. These are benign growths that can be surgically removed. They are not life threatening but could cause some discomfort. In the uterus, they may reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. Vaginal dryness and a less intense libido may also be signs of Perimenopause, menopause.

Hot flashes and night sweats are very common signs of perimenopause, menopause. Night sweats are hot flashes that occur at night. Many complain that the night sweats wake them up and their night clothes and bedding will be damp or wet. After they cool down and get back into bed, the bed may feel very cold because of the dampness. This could be avoided if the damp bedding were changed. A nice, dry bed is so comforting.

Insomnia or sleeplessness is another reported problem. You might have trouble getting to sleep or you may have trouble staying asleep. You might not be able to sleep long enough to be rested. Sleep problems could lead to fatigue/exhaustion.

Treatment Options

Option 1 - Pharmaceuticals can include over the counter medications and supplements as well as prescribed medications. There are two prescribed medications that are in common use: HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy where the depleting levels of estrogen and progesterone are kept at a stable level. This is to hopefully relieve symptoms for many women. Anti-depressants are often prescribed to help relieve the depression many women feel during perimenopause and menopause. Unfortunately, there are some very serious side effects and these include ovarian, breast, and uterine cancers. This is why many women search for more natural and safer treatments.

Option 2 - Natural treatments particularly herbal supplements are much safer and have far fewer if any side effects. It is strongly recommended that you discuss adding herbal supplements to your regimen because some of the herbs can affect the performance of any medication you may be taking for other health conditions. Your doctor should be a good source of information.

Herbal supplements are not standardized as most known medications are by the FDA. This leaves room for the manufacturers to put as little or as much herbal contents that they want in their supplements. Some companies have gone so far as to list ingredients that are not in the supplement at all.

Many manufactures though are working to create the most effective, safe, and high quality herbal supplements they can make. There are a few things to note that will help you choose a high quality supplement. They use only standardized herbal extracts because this helps to ensure that the same amount of product is in each capsule and from bottle to bottle.

Standardized herbal extracts is also where the most active ingredients of the herbs are found. The ingredients are extensively tested. The metabolic pathway of the ingredients is studied at the molecular level and how the ingredients' interact is observed.
High quality herbal supplements are made to meet pharmaceutical grade standards. All of this guarantees you that what is on the product label is actually in the supplement and that you have a safe, potent, effective product.

Option 3 - Lifestyle changes, just basic ones could help your body work at relieving your menopausal symptoms. Reducing the amount of alcohol that you drink may help to relieve hot flashes or night sweats. Alcohol makes you feel warm and make your skin appear flushed, most likely worsening the symptoms of hot flashes/night sweats.

Quit smoking! Smokers have problems with lung function due to the inhaled smoke blocking oxygen production. If you are a smoker, you could have far less stamina (endurance) for physical activity. As your heart and lungs work harder to give you as much oxygen as possible, you become winded and that's why you may huff and puff after physical activity.

A healthy diet and getting regular exercise will not only help to build your stamina, help you to lose weight, and benefit your over all health; they can also help to boost your libido. Your body will work more efficiently as well.


The signs of perimenopause, menopause includes hot flashes/night sweats, mood swings, and Depression to name but a few. These symptoms will be experienced by every woman to a greater or lesser degree. Each woman will have the symptoms affect her differently from month to month.

The good news is that there is a variety of treatments available that help to relieve or get rid of the most bothersome symptoms. Hormone Therapy Replacement and other medications are very effective but have serious side effects. Herbal supplements are available that are specifically made to deal with menopausal symptoms. Your pharmacist, doctor, or a Naturalist Pharmacist can help direct you to the best quality supplements available. There is relief and it has much fewer, if any side effects. They may also benefit your over-all health.

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