periods premenopause: how do they work?
The period leading up to menopause can be a complicated transition for the women who experience it. It is a time when multiple symptoms manifest themselves, taking the woman into a new phase of her life, without periods.
What is premenopause?
Premenopause is simply the period preceding menopause. Menopause generally occurs around the age of 50 and corresponds to the cessation of ovarian activity, resulting in the permanent cessation of periods (amenorrhea). Menopause occurs when a woman (of menopausal age) no longer experiences periods for 12 months. Menopausal women can no longer bear children.
During perimenopause, the internal clock is turned upside down: ovarian sex hormone levels are gradually reduced. Premenopause can last up to 3 years, depending on the woman.
Generally speaking, it begins between the ages of 45 and 48. But then again, every woman is different: some will start their premenopause as early as age 40, while others will begin it after 50.
What are the symptoms of premenopause?
Around 80% of women are subject to several symptoms. These symptoms include
- the famous hot flashes: the most frequent symptom
- bladder weakness
- night sweats and sleep disturbances
- mood changes (e.g. irritability)
- weight gain: metabolism slows down during premenopause, so it's common to see weight gain during this period
- vaginal dryness: the drop in estrogen affects the Bartholin glands (responsible for cyprin secretion), which can cause pain during intercourse (dyspareunia).
- a change in the appearance of the skin and hair: the skin may become drier, as may the hair, which may also become brittle. Some women may also experience acne.
How does premenopause affect periods ?
Menopause doesn't happen overnight. It's a process that takes time. Menstruation sgradually stops.
Duration and frequency of periods
Premenopause has an impact on duration periods and their frequency. Often, periods tend to become shorter. Cycles may become irregular. Minor bleeding outside the menstrual period is common. periods
Menstrual flow can also be more or less abundant. While in some cases it decreases, for some women, the flow will be much more abundant.
Finally, peri-menopause also brings about changes in premenstrual syndrome (PMS). With the hormonal changes during this period, PMS symptoms can be much more severe. For example, you may experience increased bloating, breast pain, mood swings, etc...
Our advice for a better premenopausal period
As you can imagine, it's not a very pleasant time of the year. But fortunately, there are solutions to help you get through it.
Choosing natural solutions
Before considering medical treatment, there are simple, natural solutions to help you live your cycle better!
The use of plants (phytotherapy) has already proved its worth in relieving disorders periods. These include sage, peppermint and cypress. These plants reduce cycle fluctuations. They also help combat vaginal dryness and skin problems. They can be taken as herbal teas or essential oils.
In addition to herbs, there are natural solutions such as acupuncture, which can relieve hot flashes, night sweats and pain at periods.
Diet plays a key role in all issues related to the menstrual cycle. During peri-menopause, it's highly recommended to choose foods rich in omega-3. You'll find omega-3s in foods such as oily fish (tuna, salmon), nuts, avocados, spinach and cauliflower, to name but a few.
Omega 3s have a 360° effect: as well as improving your intestinal transit, they also help limit premenopausal symptoms such as brittle hair, acne, night sweats and hot flashes. This is a period when it's easy to gain weight: if you want to be careful not to put on too much, it's important to adopt a balanced diet (without depriving yourself)!
Finally sport during periods It has a very positive effect on the menstrual cycle in general. It reduces the effects of premenstrual syndrome and pain during menstruation. Sport also reduces stress and improves sleep quality.
Opting for hormonal treatment
If the effects of premenopause are too strong, you can opt to take a hormone treatment. Although premenopause is a completely natural phenomenon, it is possible to alleviate its symptoms. To do so, opt for a hormone treatment that will rebalance estrogen and progesterone levels: this will prevent hormonal fluctuations.
In particular, it can help reduce hot flashes, night sweats and sleep disorders, vaginal dryness and all the other discomforts of premenopause.
They also help regulate menstrual cycles.
But it's important to be aware that these treatments (like many hormonal treatments) present risks of venous thrombosis, and potential weight gain.
It is recommended only for premenopausal symptoms that are very disabling for everyday life.
Choosing the right sanitary protection for your periods premenopause
During peri-menopause, as cycles easily become irregular, protecting yourself during menstruation can quickly become a real headache. Here are our recommendations for periods during this period.
As with periods, the sanitary protection you use during the peri-menopause must be adapted to your flow.
If they are irregular (for example) during the perimenopause, we recommend the use of external sanitary protection, such as menstrual pants. Choose organic cotton to make sure they don't contain chemicals that are toxic to your vulva.
What to do if you have problems during menopause?
If you're experiencing difficulties of any kind, talk to your doctor, gynaecologist or midwife: these healthcare professionals are there to help you. You can discuss with them the solutions savailable to relieve your symptoms.
FAQ periods in premenopause
What are the signs of premenopause?
Symptoms of premenopause include irregular cycles, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, weight gain, reduced libido, vaginal dryness and mood swings. These symptoms vary in intensity and frequency from one woman to another.
How old is premenopause?
The age of premenopause is not fixed and varies from woman to woman. In general, the transition phase begins around the age of 45-48. For some women, it may come earlier, while for others it may come later.
How to stop premenopausal periods ?
There aren't really any solutions to stop menstruation during the perimenopause. But natural solutions such as acupuncture, sport and herbal remedies can help relieve symptoms. Otherwise, if symptoms are too strong, talk to your doctor about taking hormones.