Premenopausal periods: how do they work?

The period leading up to menopause can be a complicated transition for women who are going through it. It's a time when multiple symptoms manifest themselves, ushering women into a new, menstruation-free phase of their lives.

What is premenopause?

Simply put, premenopause is 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 menstruation (amenorrhea). Menopause occurs when a woman (of menopausal age) stops menstruating 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 begin their premenopause as early as age 40, while others will start after age 50.

What are the symptoms of premenopause?

Around 80% of women experience several symptoms. These include

  • the famous hot flushes: the most frequent symptom
  • dizziness
  • bladder weakness
  • night sweats and sleep disorders
  • mood changes (e.g. irritability)
  • fatigue
  • weight gain: metabolism slows down with 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 skin and hair: skin can become drier, as can hair, which can also become brittle. Some women may also experience acne.

How does premenopause affect menstruation?

Menopause doesn't happen overnight. It's a process that takes time. Menstruation stops gradually.

Duration and frequency of menstruation

Premenopause affects the duration and frequency and frequency. Menstruation often tends to become shorter. Cycles may become irregular. Minor bleeding outside the menstrual period is common.

Menstrual flow

Menstrual flow can also be more or less abundant. In some cases, the flow decreases, but in others, it becomes much more abundant.

Premenstrual syndrome

Finally, perimenopause also brings changes to 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 see, this period is generally not the most pleasant. But fortunately, there are solutions to help you get through it.

Choose natural solutions

Before considering medical treatment, there are simple, natural solutions to help you get through your cycle!

The use of plants (phytotherapy) has already proved its worth in relieving menstrual disorders. Sage, peppermint and cypress come to mind. 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 flushes, night sweats and period pain.

Diet plays a key role in all issues related to the menstrual cycle. During the peri-menopause, it is strongly 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.

The action of omega 3 is 360: as well as improving your intestinal transit, they also help limit premenopausal symptoms such as brittle hair, acne, night sweats and hot flushes. This is a period when it's easy to put on weight: if you want to be careful not to gain too much, adopting a balanced diet is important (without depriving yourself)!

Finally sport during menstruation should not be overlooked: 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.

Opt for hormonal treatment

If the effects of premenopause are too severe, you can opt for 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 help avoid hormonal fluctuations.

In particular, it can help reduce hot flushes, night sweats and sleep disorders, vaginal dryness and all the other inconveniences associated with premenopause.

They also help regulate menstrual cycles.

However, it's important to be aware that these treatments (like many hormonal treatments) present risks of venous thrombosis, and potential weight gain.

They are recommended only in cases where premenopausal symptoms are very disabling for everyday life.

Choosing the right sanitary protection for premenopausal periods

During the peri-menopause, as cycles easily become irregular, protecting yourself during menstruation can quickly become a real headache. Here are our recommendations to help you manage your period more effectively.

As with menstruation, the sanitary protection you use during peri-menopause must be adapted to your flow.

If your flow is irregular (for example) during the perimenopause, we recommend that you use 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 experience difficulties during the menopause?

If you encounter any difficulties whatsoever, talk to your doctor, gynecologist or midwife: these healthcare professionals are there to help you. You can discuss with them the solutions available to relieve your symptoms.

Premenopausal menstruation FAQs

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. All these symptoms are more or less intense and frequent, depending on the woman.

What is the age of 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 can I 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 the possibility of taking hormones.