Perimenopause

Building off of my other post discussing estrogen dominance, a naturally occurring time in a women’s life when she is going to become estrogen dominant is during peri-menopause. Perimenopause is the timeframe leading up to the “official” menopause diagnosis(absence of menses for 1 whole year).

During peri-menopause we begin to see changes in menstrual cycles – shortening of the cycle, or complete absence of cycle for a couple months, as well as the beginning of those menopausal symptoms – hot flashes, increase in anxiety, irritability, disruption of sleep, decrease in libido – just to name a few symptoms.

During this perimenopausal time frame, your ovaries are becoming less responsive to LH and FSH (two hormones that come from the pituitary gland in the brain). Your brain essentially is working harder in order for ovulation to happen to maintain the menstrual cycle – and as time goes on there are more and more ANOVULATORY cycles, meaning ovulation doesn’t happen, so progesterone is NOT being produced by the corpus luteum (in the ovary) resulting in unopposed estrogen during these cycles – producing estrogen dominant symptoms. Eventually the ovaries wind down for good, resulting in LOW estrogen and progesterone, but in those early stages of perimenopause we need to be looking at what we can do to address the estrogen dominance in relation to the progesterone deficiency to ease those uncomfortable symptoms and smooth the transition from perimenopause into menopause.

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