Real Stories


7 Unexpected Ways My Life Has Changed After 50 (blessings and unknowns)

Turning 50 heralds the beginning of a new life stage for women. It’s the point when our fertile years come to an end, and we move on to the next phase. It’s also undoubtedly a time when we experience late perimenopause (peri meaning ‘around’) before transitioning into menopause and then post-menopause. Just like puberty and …

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Your Stories: Dee

Gisborne-based Dee Le Compte shares her home with her builder husband and 20-year-old son who is crazy about cars. She works at the local Bunnings looking after tradespeople and the supplies they require for their work. She shares the most challenging moments of her menopause journey and how she’s dealt with them. When did you …

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Your Stories: Amy

Meet Amy Harris from South Australia. Amy’s story is long as she’s been going through the symptoms of menopause since she was 28. She’s now 54. “I began having problems in my 20s when my period changed. From lasting for about three days, and being long and light, they began arriving every day with cramping …

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Your Stories: Clare

Meet Clare McCall. She’s the busy CEO of an Auckland-based plumbing company and has over 35 employees working under her. Clare juggles many responsibilities such as taking charge in a male-dominated field, being a partner to Bino and running their household. In addition, she’s a changemaker who is actively changing women’s lives in Nepal through …

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Four 40 year old women friends

Your Stories: Vanessa

Vanessa shares: Hi there, my name is Vanessa. I’ve been in menopause for what seems like forever. Since at least 2013. My Symptoms It has been full of ongoing endless symptoms from itchy skin, feeling drained, permanently irritable, to being anxious most days for no particular reason. I’m not sure if perimenopause is worse but …

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.