Perimenopause or menopause transition is the phase before menopause during which you may have irregular menstrual bleeding and other symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. It is a time when your body begins to slow down the production of certain hormones, (oestrogen, and progesterone) and ovulation becomes erratic signalling the decreasing fertility. Unfortunately, there is no known prevention for the onset of this change in your reproductive cycle, but certain things may help to delay the onset of the symptoms of perimenopause.
Ways to delay perimenopause and menopause
- Quit smoking: Some studies suggest that early menopausal changes are more likely in women who smoke than in women who don’t smoke. Smoking probably influences the way your body uses oestrogen, lowers its levels and affects the menstrual cycle as well. Quitting can significantly reduce the risk of early perimenopause and menopause. Moreover, the symptoms of perimenopause are probably worsened by smoking.
- Be active and fit: Regular exercise for 20 to 30 minutes on most days of a week helps to improve your fitness and overall health. Exercise can not only improves your muscle and bone strength but betters sleep and keeps oestrogen production normal for longer time.
- Maintain healthy body weight: Keeping your weight and BMI in the normal range can delay perimenopause and menopause. According to experts, early menopause occurs more often in women who are underweight. Being underweight affects the level of oestrogen and leads to early menopause.
Some ways to relieve symptoms of perimenopause
- Vaginal dryness and irritation: Application of vaginal lubricants can decrease the dryness briefly and make sex more comfortable. Consult your doctor for vaginal moisturizers or low dose vaginal oestrogen creams if you experience dryness and pain during intercourse.
- Hot flushes and night sweats: Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting the intake of caffeine or alcohol can lessen the occurrence of hot flushes and night sweats. These symptoms tend to be worse in women who are overweight or obese.
- Mood swings: Consult a doctor if your mood changes frequently, or if depression, irritation, anxiety or other psychological symptoms are affecting you or your family. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication or suggest other therapies to help.
- Heavy periods: Heavy menstrual bleeding in the perimenopause period may improve with progestin therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), levonorgestrel (LNg) IUD, or birth control pills.
Read more articles on Perimenopause