Peri Menopause and Menopause

What is the difference between peri-menopause and menopause?

This is a question that I think is the most confusing part of going through menopause. As women we really are not totally sure of what is happening with our bodies at this time of life. Its just not talked about.

Yes, we know we are going to go through menopause, but we don't really expect or think we will go through it early.

  • Peri Menopause is the period of time before Menopause (Menopause is when you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months)  However the time leading up to this, is a time when we see more fluctuating hormones, more symptoms and often don't know what is happening to our bodies.

Peri menopause (going through menopause) can last from 2 -10 years before the actual menopause happens.

The average age of Menopause in the UK is 51yrs.  Though around 5% of women go through early Menopause which occurs before the age of 40 or 45yrs or can be even younger. It is thought that around 1% of women go through menopause before the age of 40. But I have heard menopause specialist quote that the figure is more likely to be higher than 1% and actually around 5% under 40.

Symptoms of peri menopause:

  • Anxiousness
  • Bladder Leakage
  • Brain Fog
  • Brittle Nails
  • Digestive Discomfort
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Feeling tired
  • Food Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular or changes in your period
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of breast fullness
  • low labido
  • mood swings
  • Skipped ovulation

If you are having any of these symptoms or any other unexplained symptoms, you could be going through early menopause or experiencing hormonal imbalance. Remember lots of symptoms overlap with other imbalances in the body, which is why its good to test, to really understand what is happening in your body.

What can kick you into menopause?

  • Family history of early Menopause
  • Chronic illness or infections
  • Surgical removal of ovaries and uterus
  • Radiation or Chemotherapy
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune disease

What happens when you reach Menopause?

When your menstrual cycle has stopped for 12 consecutive months  you are classed as having had menopause and are now stepping into post menopause. But what does this mean? Do symptoms subside or get worse?

Well depending on your overall health you can still suffer from menopausal symptoms after you have gone through menopause. Some symptoms can worsen, which is why its an important time to get into optimal health.

Self care is key at this time in your life, so you can enjoy many vibrant and healthy years ahead and there is no reason why you should not have that.

Managing your diet and stress levels, doing regular weight baring exercises and getting to the root cause of any infections or other symptoms you may be experiencing will help you to stay vibrant and healthy.

I work with many women in my practice to help them get to the root cause of imbalances, chronic infections and other unexplained symptoms they may be experience.  We don't just want to survive through our menopausal years we want to thrive!