We often get some great questions from the community so we’ve put seven of the most asked questions together.
1. What’s the difference between perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause?
Most people, even doctors, talk about menopause as an umbrella term. However, this isn’t technically correct because many of the – sometimes life-disrupting – signs begin in the lead-up to menopause known as perimenopause.
Perimenopause occurs when our hormone levels begin to change and we come to the end of our fertile years. We can still fall pregnant during this time though it’s much more difficult. Perimenopause can begin as early as your late 30s/early 40s and lasts approximately six to 13 years. There is no one size fits all in terms of time or experience.
Perimenopause leads into menopause itself, which is when our periods stop. We only know we are officially in menopause one year after our last period. So, essentially it’s a non-event because by this time we are already in post-menopause. It’s why we tend to focus on peri and post-menopause here at MenoMe.
2. I’m itchy all over, is this a sign of peri?
Yes, itchiness can be one of the signs of perimenopause and it’s not very comfortable. You can read more about it here.
Bear in mind too that midlife itchiness doesn’t just affect your limbs and body. You may find yourself experiencing an itchy vagina too, which we know drives some of you crazy. Coconut oil can help and we’ve also heard good reports about Sylk Natural which you can get all over the world. Here’s the Australian link. And the New Zealand link.
I’d also recommend keeping hydrated with lots of pure water and high water content foods like cucumber, watermelon, and other fruits and vegetables. Try adding a little bit of fresh lemon juice to your water to keep your body alkaline and a dash of sea salt for trace minerals.
3. I keep getting dizzy spells, could there be something wrong with me?
I know this one well and it can be quite scary. 😱It’s usually another symptom of the meno years and a very common one. It’s not that well understood but if you’re experiencing this please know that you’re not alone. You can read all about it here.
4. My sex drive has disappeared what can I do?
This is another common side effect of midlife so it’s lucky that lots of you report having understanding husbands! We get that it’s distressing. We’ve gone a bit deeper into it here for you.
Along with the vaginal changes that can affect your sex drive, incontinence can also be an issue. You can read more about that here.
5. All of a sudden I developed a fear of driving. Is this normal?
Unfortunately, we’ve heard this one a little bit along with an aversion to going out socially, visiting the supermarket and anywhere where’s there’s bound to be quite a few people. (My hand is up!) It can get so bad for some women that they begin hyperventilating and go into a panic attack. Breathing is your number one tool here. Breathe in deeply for the count of eight, out for the count of eight, in for the count of eight, out for the count of eight and so on until you feel calmer.
6. I’m experiencing cravings and bloating like never before. What gives?
Bloating is frustrating! Who likes feeling pregnant and distended? Again it’s often down to fluctuating estrogen levels. You see, one of estrogen’s jobs is to send a message to the digestive enzymes to start getting into action. The best advice? Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. Take a probiotic or add fermented foods to your daily victuals like kimchi, kefir yoghurt or sauerkraut. Cut processed, refined foods like carbohydrates and sugars out of your life and stick to whole foods.
At the bottom of this piece, you’ll also find a link to understanding what’s going on in your body, I highly recommend having a read. 😊
7. Can I take 40+ or 55+ if I have been through breast cancer?
8. Will 40+/55+ help me lose weight?
Weight gain is one of the biggest bugbears for women in midlife and can be a by-product of hormone changes. However, it is completely manageable with the right tools. In answer to the question though 40+/55+ are not weight management tools. Theoretically though, by helping balance your hormones they may make it less difficult to manage your weight. This hasn’t been tested. However, testing did show they definitely will not cause you to gain weight.
To understand what’s going on in your body it may be helpful for you to read this.
As always, we hope this helps. 😊😊😊
If you have any other common questions please don’t hesitate to send them through. 😊
Disclaimer: this is not an in-depth article on hormones and is intended as a guide only. If you feel you need more help and advice please see a qualified functional medicine practitioner.