We hear a lot about menopause discussed in the news, media, and various blogs. But what about the stage before menopause? Perimenopause is this specific time and is an under-discussed topic. So what is perimenopause, and what are some of the physical and emotional symptoms?
Perimenopause occurs as early as a woman’s mid-thirties. Hormonal changes and fluctuations do occur throughout a woman’s life. From puberty to pregnancy and even during your monthly cycles, hormonal levels rise and fall. While you might have experienced hormonal changes throughout your life, the type of hormonal swings are typically unlike anything you might have experienced before. According to The North American Menopause Society1, perimenopause means “around menopause” and is the transition towards menopause.
Perimenopause is marked by menstrual changes along with other symptoms. Some of these changes to that time of the month include changes in menstrual flow and shorter, longer, or irregular cycles and skipped periods. Once you’ve gone 12 months without a cycle you are in menopause. Other physical symptoms can include feeling more irritable, lack of energy, mood swings, anxiety, stress, and the dreaded hot flashes and night sweats.
Physical symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and fatigue are a little more obvious. Meanwhile, emotional symptoms can easily be underestimated. If you’re feeling more irritable, it’s one of the most common emotional symptoms. Mood changes occur during perimenopause years because our hormones are changing. Estrogen fluctuates and eventually declines. This female hormone is known to affect our emotions and it is not surprising that our mood changes as the levels of estrogens change.
According to the Mayo Clinic2:
“The level of estrogen — the main female hormone — in your body rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause.”
This “rise and fall” can cause mood swings and amplify chronic irritability. In fact, according to a Harvard Health article3, approximately 10-20% of perimenopause symptoms tend to be mood-related. The article goes on to discuss that symptoms such as perimenopausal-related depression tend to lower after the age of 45. This means mood changes such as irritability and other mood swings can often be much worse during perimenopause than when you’re in menopause. This is due to the fact that hormonal changes can be more pronounced in perimenopause.
Are you more irritable than usual and find yourself being unable to enjoy things in life due to perimenopause? If so, there are some practical ways you can manage irritability while in perimenopause.
If you’re feeling extra irritable, stressed, and moody, you’re not alone. It's okay to reach out for professional help if symptoms continue and don't go away. Like anything, managing your emotions takes a little practice. But with regular practice, you can feel better, reduce irritability, and begin enjoying life again.
If you’re still wondering about our product and have questions about your perimenopause symptoms, call Menopause Specialists at (800) 211-8021 Mon-Fri 9am - 7am EST. Menopause Specialists is free for Amberen Perimenopause customers. It’s a team of perimenopause professionals lead by a licensed Menopause Specialist.††
Still not sure if you’re in perimenopause? Take our perimenopause quiz!
This blog post and the recommendations made herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used as healthcare advice. Individuals are encouraged to consult their healthcare provider with questions about their specific needs.
The references provided in this blog post are identified for informational purposes only and such references and the underlying research, including the entities and individuals involved in the underlying research, did not involve Amberen and are not affiliated with Amberen or the makers of Amberen.