Understanding Perimenopause Age: Signs & Solutions

I don’t know if it’s just my social media algorithm and having a heavy focus on perimenopause, but I’m enjoying the awareness and information out there that I am seeing around this topic. It’s like finally finding the missing piece of the puzzle, isn’t it?

I know for some women that when they join the dots and ask themselves, ‘could it be perimenopause?’ followed by BUT ‘am I old enough?’ Many women are surprised to learn that the journey into perimenopause age can begin as early as their mid to late 30s. It’s a time when subtle shifts in both body and mind can leave us questioning what’s happening and whether it’s “normal.”

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the complexities of perimenopause age, exploring the early signs, common symptoms, and strategies for navigating this transitional phase with confidence and understanding.

The average age a woman enters menopause in Australia is 51. And like anything related to our menstrual cycles, it’s a bit of a waiting game. Anticipating the arrival of your first period, waiting for it each month, waiting for that positive or negative on a pregnancy test, and waiting to hit the 12-month mark without a period to officially enter menopause. It’s all about patience, isn’t it? But together, we’ll make sure you’re well-prepared for whatever comes your way.

The Age Range of Perimenopause:

Perimenopause can begin anywhere from the late 30s to the early 50s, with the average age of onset around 45. However, it’s essential to recognise that every woman’s experience is unique, and perimenopause can start earlier or later depending on various factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and overall health.

Age of perimenopause

Now that we’ve established that perimenopause age isn’t just a simple calculation, let’s dive deeper into the symptoms you may encounter along the way.

Early Signs of Perimenopause:

While perimenopause is often associated with hot flushes and night sweats, there are many subtle changes that may occur before these more noticeable symptoms manifest (read more in another blog of mine). Some early signs of perimenopause include irregular periods, changes in menstrual flow, mood swings, fatigue, and changes in libido. These symptoms can be subtle and easily dismissed as normal signs of aging or stress, but they may indicate the beginning of the perimenopausal transition.

The Challenge of Being Taken Seriously

These earlier years of perimenopause, it’s not uncommon for women to feel brushed off or told they are “too young to be perimenopausal.” This dismissal can be frustrating and invalidating, but it’s essential to advocate for yourself and seek out healthcare providers who will listen to your concerns and take them seriously.

Hormonal Changes:

Perimenopause is characterised by hormonal changes, particularly erratic fluctuations and eventually a decline in oestrogen levels. These hormonal changes can impact various bodily functions, including the reproductive system, metabolism, and mood regulation. Understanding these hormonal shifts is essential for navigating the physical and emotional changes of perimenopause age.

Common Symptoms of Perimenopause:

Perimenopause can manifest in a wide range of symptoms, both physical and emotional. Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, mood swings, anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can vary in severity and duration for each woman.

Physical Changes:

In addition to hormonal changes and symptoms, perimenopause can also bring about various physical changes. These may include weight gain, especially around the abdomen, thinning of hair and skin, joint pain, and changes in breast tissue.

Understanding these physical changes as a normal part of the aging process can help women feel more confident and empowered during perimenopause.

It doesn’t mean you have to like them though!

Mental Health:

Perimenopause can have a significant impact on mental health, leading to increased feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings. It’s essential for women to prioritise their mental well-being during this time and seek support if needed. Therapy, support groups, and self-care practices can all be helpful tools for managing the emotional challenges of perimenopause.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the brain has many oestrogen receptors, and the change in hormonal levels during perimenopause can directly affect these receptors, contributing to changes in mood and emotional well-being.

Understanding the physiological factors at play can help women better navigate the mental health aspects of perimenopause and seek appropriate support when needed.

Remember, while hormonal changes during perimenopause may make you feel like you’re going crazy, rest assured that it’s the fluctuating hormones causing these feelings, and you are not alone in experiencing them.

Strategies for Managing Symptoms

So, how do we tackle these symptoms without feeling completely overwhelmed? At my practice, I work with women to focus on their whole health, taking a holistic approach that considers diet, lifestyle, detailed health history, blood tests, and support through nutrients and herbal medicines. It’s about finding what works best for you, addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of perimenopause.

If you’re ready to regain control and clarity on your perimenopause journey, I invite you to schedule a free health chat with me. During this session, we’ll discuss what’s going on for you and how we can work together to address your unique needs and goals.

And before you know it, you’ll begin to have more good days than bad, sleep better, get your energy back and actually feel like yourself again. A new vibrant you!

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Areas of interest:
- Perimenopause
- Menopause
- Hormonal and cycle changes
- Burning Mouth Syndrome
- Low Energy Levels

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Email: hello@chantellebell.com.au
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© 2023 Chantelle Bell Naturopath.