Mid-Life Challenges: Perimenopause & Menopause
January 12, 2017•31 min
How can you navigate the body changes of mid-life?Your body is always going through changes, from the time you're born until the day you pass.The mid-life stage (after age 40) is easier to navigate when you know what’s happening with your body. Your ovaries start their journey toward retirement during perimenopause. They stop producing estrogen when you have reached menopause. Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause include hot flashes, sweats, brain fog, mood swings, low libido, aches and pains.Sex & LibidoIt’s normal to feel less interested in sex when you’re in perimenopause. You may be up all night sweating and fatigued from daily life. Your ovaries are making less estrogen and testosterone in your ovaries. These hormones are key to the sexual being you were before perimenopause. You can still achieve sexual satisfaction. During this transition, it's important to pay close attention to the health and wellness of your vagina.Weight GainMid-life brings weight gain that tends to stick in the middle of the body. It’s a function of aging and lifestyle choices, so you have to choose a healthier diet and incorporate exercise in order to combat it. Exercise daily; a minimum of five days a week. If you feel crummy because of your perimenopausal symptoms, it might be due to poor lifestyle choices. Focus on diet and exercise.SleepYour sleep health will be impacted by perimenopause and menopause symptoms. You won’t spend enough time in deep sleep. Give yourself the gift of restorative sleep.OB vs. GYNBe sure to see a gynecologist instead of an obstetrician when you experience symptoms. Obstetricians are focused on helping younger women have babies. Visit menopause.org to find an expert who understands the changes you’re facing and the solutions available.Hormone TherapyMenopausal women no longer have menstrual cycles. If you are within 10 years of your last menstrual period and don’t have any potential risk factors (breast cancer, blood clots, stroke, heart disease), you may be eligible for hormone therapy. Find a health care professional who is focused on mid-life women’s health to discuss your individual risks and benefits. Bioidentical hormones have the same kind of estrogen that your ovaries made before retirement. But, they have the same risks and benefits as other hormone therapy options. Choose something that is FDA approved. If a natural remedy doesn’t do anything for your symptoms after three months, then it doesn’t work for you. Black cohosh helps some women some of the time. Acupuncture can also provide relief. Physical activity and meditation are great natural ways to ease through perimenopause. Listen in as Dr. Tara Allmen shares secrets on how to thrive in your mid-life years.