Lisa is Perimenopausal

Lisa is in perimenopause but doesn't know it.

Lisa is Perimenopause

Could you be like Lisa?

Lisa is 46 years old and leads a busy life as a senior business manager and mother of three teenage children. She is perimenopausal, but doesn’t know it. Although they are becoming irregular, she is still having her periods, and she isn’t having hot flushes so she confidently takes this as meaning she hasn’t reached menopause yet.

What she doesn’t realise is that the signs of perimenopause are the same as the signs associated with menopause – and there are so many more signs than hot flushes. Left untreated, they can have a dramatic influence on her health.

What are signs of perimenopause for Lisa?

Lisa used to be such a sound sleeper, but lately she’s been waking in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. She lies awake and worries about her children, her work, her relationships and herself. Her sleeplessness is starting to take a toll.

She is over-tired during the day and suffers from irritability – watch out children and workmates!

She used to be so driven, but right now, her energy levels are strangely low. She puts this down to her disrupted sleep, and cuts back on exercise, making her feel even worse.

The stress of balancing work and family demands, that she once proudly managed like an expert juggler, is now suddenly overwhelming. And to top things off she is experiencing anxiety attacks. There are times when she actually thinks she is going crazy… she’s booked herself an appointment with a counsellor.

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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.