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Premenopause, Perimenopause and Menopause Issues in McKinney, TX

WHAT EXACTLY OCCURS IN PREMENOPAUSE, PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE

Premenopause vs. Perimenopause

Premenopause can be described as the time between a woman’s first and last period. You often see your periods and have active reproductive characteristics. During this phase, hormonal changes may occur but there is no significant observable changes in the body. While in perimenopause, menopausal symptoms become visible. You may experience hot flashes, changes in menstrual cycle, mood swings or insomnia. Perimenopause may more accurately describe when a woman is close to menopause, as it implies a decrease in hormone levels. Perimenopause is often used interchangeably with premenopause, but their meaning differs. Another term for perimenopause is menopause transition.

Perimenopause and Menopause
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Menopause

Menopause automatically marks the end of a female menstrual cycle or reproduction. Even though this stage of life is well known, it is vital you recognize and understand the different stages that occur within menopause. Menopause occurs when menstruation stops for a full twelve months. While perimenopause is the transition process into menopause. It is also known as a phase ‘around menopause’ or menopausal transitional phase. In as much as perimenopause and menopause are part of the same life transition process, their symptoms and how they are treated differ.

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Timing and Duration

Females will experience perimenopause before they officially reach menopause.  Most commonly women experience this phase 3 to 10 years before menopause. This takes place during a woman’s 40s, but can sometimes occur in her 30s. Perimenopause is characterized by a reduction in estrogen levels, a primary hormone which the ovaries manufacture. The levels of estrogen may fluctuate from  the usual cycle of 28 days, this may cause unusual periods and symptoms.  Estrogen production tends to decrease drastically during the last phases of perimenopause.  Once the ova are no longer produced because of minute amounts of estrogen produced by the ovaries, menopause officially sets in, and your period stops flowing.  Menopause is official once a woman does not see her period for a complete year. Most women enter menopause at an earlier stage than normal, this could occur if you:

  • Are a smoker
  • have undergone treatments for cancer
  • had hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or oophorectomy (removal of one or both ovaries)
  • Have a family history of early menopause
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Symptoms associated with Premenopause

Women who notice hormonal imbalances during premenopause can have normal or irregular periods.  They may also may experience PMS.

Other PMS symptoms include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Depression
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Fertility issues
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Symptoms associated with Perimenopause and Menopause

A lot of individuals are more concerned of the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and alterations of the menstrual cycle.  However, you might come across other signs during the transition process. The following symptoms may be associated with perimenopause:

  • Sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Breast tenderness
  • Difficulty to concentrate
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Fertility issues
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Treating Premenopause, Perimenopause and Menopause

In our office we evaluate all of  the three main body systems…. hormonal, gastrointestinal, and detoxification.  Many times correcting the underlying malfunctioning body system or systems, and adjusting a few  lifestyle habits,  are enough to make the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause vanish.  As we see all too often in practice, each one of these body systems , if not functioning properly, affects the others.  These systems do not function independently of each other.  This is the main reason we test and help you correct all three of the main body systems to bring about the optimal health you desire.

In Premenopause,  if PMS or infertility are an issue, we run a month long hormonal panel that measures estrogen and progesterone to see if the levels are where they are supposed to be.  We then can work with you to design a protocol to get the hormone levels to where they need to be.  This will help bring about a normal menstrual cycle, relieve PMS, and make it a lot easier for a  woman to  become pregnant.

If needed, the brief use of bio-identical Estrogen and/or progesterone can help.  This will help maintain normal hormone levels.  In menopause, using bio-identical vaginal creams to relieve pain and dryness during sex can also be used safely.

Some other methods can be employed to alleviate symptoms at home. Frequent exercise helps maintain body weight and boost your mood. Ensure you exercise daily, but do not exercise before going to bed, it can increase your inability to sleep. People with insomnia find it difficult to get enough rest.  Carry out relaxing activities before going to bed e.g. yoga. Do not sleep during the day, this can prevent you from sleeping at nights (which in turn can cause hormonal imbalnces).  You can also relieve symptoms through:

  • Not eating heavy foods
  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Reducing caffeine intake
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Outlook

“Both perimenopause and menopause are transitional phases that show an end to your reproductive years. With all of the treatments that are available, you can get through these stages more comfortably with a bit more freedom too.”  If you are experiencing symptoms in any of the phases above and want help easing through these changes, call our office and set up an appointment today.

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