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The Perimenopause

I hadn’t spent too much time thinking about menopause until I developed a lump in my breast at 38. I went for a bioposy and I was told I had to wait a couple of weeks for the results.

In that time I had done what I told everyone not to do.. I googled the outcomes and then convinced myself I was dying, It always scary waiting for results on anything that links to cancer symptoms.

I also had my first experience of a mammogram. It came back as showing I had dense tissue, I panicked again about this but this is a normal finding for women with lower body fat and younger women (I was quite young for a mammogram)

The Gp told me I was starting the perimenopause and welcome to a ten year rollercoaster.

While having a lump may well have been a indication In fact I didn’t feel any other symptoms and I was quite ensure what they would be..

Here’s some tips about what you might see and how you can improve any symptoms you may have.


1Enhanced cortisol storage is more common in the perimenopause and you are more stress sensitive, so its important to find ways to help you manage this stress.

If your overworking, not taking time to de stress or take time for relaxation or things you enjoy then this will likely feel harder to manage.

Spend time getting outside in nature, doing some gentle stretching, reading, baking, seeing friends but make time for things that relax you..

2. Pelvic floor weakness

A decline of oestrogen receptors as oestrogen lowers then some weakness or urinary incontinence can occur.

It’s important to include core stability exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor , and to include kegals. However this can cause increase stress if you suddenly start to include them so build up slowly, and focus on breathing techniques, pilates can be a great way to help encourage mind to muscle connection and contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor.

3.Exercise force you to work on agility, hand and eye coordination, can increase motor function and help you to feel mentally more alert.

3. Irregular periods irregular periods can mean shorter or longer periods, lighter or heavier periods or missing one altogether,

If you have been regular and start to notice changes this could be a indication that the perimenopause could be on the horizon.

4. Reduced libido a drop in testosterone isn’t really talked about as we dont connect women usually with this hormone but we actually produce 3 x the amount of testosterone than oestrogen pre menopause,

This however doesn’t drop due to the menopause, it just naturally lowers as we age. But it will also lower our motivation and mood, and increased weight gain as well as lowered libido.

Look at the oestrogen levels in the picture above, this really does affect our mood and can make us feel irritable.

The lack of movement that can come about by lack of motivation and increased stress can make us feel higher levels of anxiety and highs and significant lows in mood

What can we do?

Going back to what I mentioned before – factor in things for you, in your forties is a time you should be able to take a little more you time, perhaps working less hours, having older children or realising the next decade comes around fast.

Find ways to help you relax.

Strength train

We naturally atrophy as we age, losing 3-8% muscle mass per decade after 30!!

This happens when we start to drop in oestrogen levels, strength training can slow this decline or stop completely the decline of lean mass (muscle)

It might be you feel you need more recovery if your struggling with perimenopausal symptoms, or dial the intensity down – you don’t need to chase a 1 rep max on every session in order to see and feel the benefits.

Oestrogen creams and lubricants can help as well as making the time for date nights or just creating time for one another!

SLEEP – going to bed at similar times can help us create better habits, actually waking on your alarm reducing your drive to eat as this is usually increased by sleep deprivation. It will enhance your circadian rhythm.

HRT hormone replacement therapy helps to increase oestrogen, make a appointment with your gp to discuss.

Talking about it – a problem shared is a problem halved and your not alone, however speaking to a therapist can be beneficial if your struggling mentally with the new found changes of this oestrogen roller coaster ride,

Bethan xxx

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