Perimenopause vs Menopause – How are they different?

While most of us are pretty familiar with the big M – Menopause, that phase in a womans life when she stops menstruating usually in her 50’s, many of us do not know much about Perimenopause which is the phase leading up to Menopause.

While Menopause is known for symptoms like hot flushes, interrupted sleep and memory loss, for some women Perimenopause is a more difficult phase than Menopause as fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels create a whole raft of distressing symptoms. The Perimenopausal phase is designed to move a woman’s body from being able to bear children to stopping menstruation altogether. For some women it can start as early as 35 and it usually lasts between 2 – 10 years. It starts with short cycles and heavy bleeding and ends with long cycles and light bleeding until Menopause officially starts 12 months after a woman’s last period.

It is estimated that 25% of women will experience Perimenopausal symptoms that significantly affect their health and wellbeing and ability to cope in a busy world. The other 75% will get mild or no symptoms. Either way these symptoms can be very distressing and often come at a time when women are trying to juggle raising children and demanding careers. Perimenopausal symptoms can be as broad as:

Sleep disturbance
Hot flushes and night sweats
Heart palpitations
Migraines
Heavy periods with pain
Breast pain
Irritability
Depression
Anxiety
Vaginal dryness
Abdominal weight gain
Fibromialgia

While most people think of Menopause as occurring in a woman’s life in her 50’s and then stopping once symptoms have disappeared, in reality a woman is in Menopause for the rest of her life. With Menopause a woman’s body is supposed to enter a calmer and kinder phase after the hormonal storm of Perimenopause although for many women it may not feel like that as their bodies struggle to find balance with low estrogen and progesterone. While some may sail through this hormonal transition with ease, others can struggle for up to ten years with hot flushes, interrupted sleep, vaginal dryness, weight gain, memory loss and a variety of other physical changes and health issues that come with reduced hormones and age.

It is no wander many women cannot wait to get out of their 50’s and into their 60’s.

The Japanese refer to Menopause as the “second spring” because they believe that the energy that was needed by the uterus to make babies now moves up to the heart providing deeper wisdom.

While both Perimenopause and Menopause are a natural part of a womans life, the lack of understanding around these hormonal changes and what can be done to assist and support a woman during this time often mean women struggle to stay well and enjoy their lives. They feel that they no longer know their bodies, they have no control over what is happening to them and they often no longer know who they are. We know that the symptoms are temporary and we also know that Perimenopause and the first couple of years of Menopause are critical windows of health for a woman. 

Not only will a woman’s health going into Perimenopause and Menopause affect her experience during these hormonal phases, the choices a woman makes around diet, nutrition, lifestyle and exercise during these phases will have long lasting affects on her health and body as she ages. No woman has to suffer in silence. The more you understand what is changing in your body and why you are getting symptoms the more you can do something about it.

I recommend reading Lara Biden’s excellent book “Hormone Repair Manual: every woman’s guide to healthy hormones after 40”.

The other option is to find yourself a naturopathic practitioner, nutritionist or health coach who specialise in Perimenopause or Menopause.

As a Health and Wellness Coach I can guide and support you to put in place the right nutrition and lifestyle changes to help alleviate menopausal symptoms and ensure a strong and healthy body as you age.

Contact me to organise a free health consultation here
Learn more about my Embrace Menopause & Thrive Program here

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Embrace Menopause & Thrive

Every woman experiences menopause differently. Together we will find out what will work best for you to help you manage your symptoms, feel well and set yourself up for good health during your 40’s and 50’s.

The right food, exercise and lifestyle changes will help you to:

  • Sleep better
  • Wake up with more energy
  • Have a clearer mind and a better memory
  • Lose some unwanted kilos
  • Have less headaches, hot flushes and mood swings
  • Feel confident in your body and who you are as a woman

Be Well – Age with Confidence

Why is this program designed for women only?

Because researchers have now discovered that not only do women’s bodies age differently to men’s bodies, so to do their Brains and it has all got to do with hormones.

This is one of the reasons why two thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women and Dementia is the number one cause of death for women in Australia.

This program will take a woman’s perspective on health and wellness and incorporate elements of the Brain Fit, Memory Rescue and Embracing Menopause program.

Taking a bio-individual approach that looks specifically at your health and lifestyle needs you will discover how to:

  • Keep your mind and memory sharp
  • Successfully keep your weight at a healthy level
  • Nurture your body, Brain and hormones with the right foods and supplements to keep them healthy and balanced
  • Slow down ageing through the right exercise and lifestyle changes
  • Have the energy to live the life you want to live
  • Be confident in your body and who you are as a woman

Brain Fit for Life

Did you know that when your Brain works right, you work right and when your Brain is troubled, you have trouble in your life.

When your Brain is Fit you make better decisions, you are healthier, happier, have better relationships and are more purposeful and successful in life.

What we will do to make you Brain Fit!

  • Take a deep dive into how the Brain functions and how problems in different parts of the Brain can affect behaviour and your health
  • Assess your Brain and your Brain health via Dr Amen’s online Brain assessment tool
  • Look at the four circles of Brain health and how to balance your work and home life
  • Fuel up your Brain for high performance through nutrition, supplements and gut health
  • Give you tools and techniques to challenge ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts)
  • Develop a Brain optimisation plan that will protect your Brain for the future

Memory Rescue

Are you noticing that your memory is not as good as it used to be?

Has Covid affected your short term memory?

Is your Brain a little foggy or not as sharp as it used to be?

It is not until our memories start to slip that we realise how essential they are for working and living well.

The exciting news is the Hippocampus which is the memory centre of the Brain makes up to 700 new cells every day. If you put these cells in a growth environment they will thrive, keep them in a toxic environment and they will die.

This program starts with a review of your Brain health using the Dr Amen on line Brain health assessment tool which will give you a personal report of your current Brain health.

Then using the BRIGHT MINDS pneumonic as a guide we will look at each of the 11 major risk factors that steal your mind and what you can do to manage these risks, sharpen your memory, boost cognitive function, reverse brain ageing and decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.