Answers to Your Questions About Peri-Menopause (Pre-Menopause) – Part 2
Q: When am I out of peri-menopause and into menopause?
A: Peri-menopause can last anywhere from two to fifteen years. This is the time you will begin to experience irregular menstrual cycles. You will also begin to notice many of the symptoms associated with menopause. Most often the symptoms are most severe during this stage in the transition. Once you have completely stopped menstruating you are considered to have reached menopause.
Q: What happens to my periods?
A: Menopause is triggered once you no longer have viable eggs that can be used in the reproductive process. This will cause your body to slowly stop producing estrogen and progesterone. During peri-menopause you will experience extremely irregular periods because of the imbalance and lack of these hormones. These irregularities vary greatly from woman to woman. Sometimes you may initially have heavier periods or have spotting between periods and can even have periods every one to three weeks. Other times you may have a much lighter than normal flow. Over time you will begin to have missed periods with longer times in between.
Usually your doctor will wait until you have not had a period for a full year to declare that you have reached actual menopause. Then the date of your last menstrual period will be considered the date you hit menopause. From that time forward you are in the post-menopause stage, which will last the remainder of your life.
Eventually your period will cease completely when you have reached full menopause. Remember, it may still be possible for you to become pregnant during this time. Be sure to use contraception until you are sure you are past the peri-menopause stage and have truly reached menopause.
Q: What about allergies or asthma?
A: Allergies and asthma have been linked to irregular periods. Though the medical community is still unsure of the reason for this link, studies do show that it exists. Those with irregular periods are much more likely to have asthma and allergies and are also much more likely to have an asthma attack. No new onset asthma cases have been found in premenopausal women so menopause will not cause asthma if you do not already have it. However, those that already have allergies and asthma may be at higher risk for further medical problems due to these conditions.
Q: How can natural hormones, such as progesterone or herbs help me deal with perimenopause?
A: Bio-identical hormone therapy can help create hormone balance to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with oncoming menopause and in some cases even completely eliminate them. Natural hormones include the phyto-estrogens and natural progesterone found in nature that are similar to the female hormones produced within the human body. As a result, natural hormone replacement therapy using natural progesterone and pytoestrogens has been proven to be an effective solution for all stages of menopause.
There are many herbs available that you can also use during this stage in your life in addition to natural hormones to ease the distressing symptoms you are now experiencing. Chasteberry, red clover, ginseng and flaxseed oil all have properties that are known to reduce menopause symptoms. Black cohosh has been proven to work well for peri-menopause symptoms as well. EstroRenew, a proprietary phytoestrogen formula combines black cohosh, red clover and chasteberry to achieve successful results for women in perimenopause through all stage of menopause. It reacts inside the body as a mild estrogen and greatly reduces hot flashes and night sweats. It can also be very effective for many other menopausal symptoms.
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