Being aware of the hormonal changes that happen at 40 can make your life much easier. As a woman’s body ages, hormone changes take place. During the reproductive years, most women have balanced hormones, and periods occur regularly and predictably. At around 40 years old, however, hormones start to change and can cause uncomfortable symptoms.
If you’re a woman of about 40 years old, knowing the symptoms of perimenopause and what can be done to put the hormones back in balance can help you stay in control of your emotional and physical health.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause can start as early as the late 30’s or early 40’s. During this time, egg production slows down and hormones change. Primarily, estrogen and progesterone production dwindles, and periods become irregular. These are the years before menopause. Menopause happens when egg production stops entirely.
Perimenopause typically lasts about four years, but can be as short as a few months or as long as ten years. Perimenopause is over when a woman has gone for a full year without period.
What are the Symptoms of Perimenopause?
Symptoms of perimenopause vary from one woman to the next. Some typical symptoms include:
The length of time between periods may be drawn out for longer than is typical, or the time between periods may be shorter than normal. Perimenopause ends when the periods stop altogether.
Hot flashes occur when the body experiences a sudden feeling of heat. This happens because blood vessels near the face open up, causing excessive sweating. Hot flashes may be accompanied by chills and rapid heart rate. Some women experience hot flashes into menopause, and some even continue this for years after.
Night sweats are like hot flashes, but they occur at night while sleeping. People who experience night sweats may wake up to be drenched in sweat. Sweating of this nature is more severe than the type of sweating that would occur if someone slept in a warm room, or with too many blankets.
Women who are perimenopausal may experience insomnia or a general change in their normal sleep cycles.
Uterine bleeding may increase during periods because of the hormone shifts taking place in the body.
Changes in premenstrual syndrome and changes in mood overall
Premenstrual syndrome, the condition that occurs in the days before a woman’s period, can become more severe during the perimenopausal phase. People in the perimenopause phase can also experience problems like depression, irritability, and feelings of stress or anxiety. People who have experienced mood disorders throughout their life are more likely to experience these problems during perimenopause.
Problems with short-term memory and focus
Short-term memory and ability to concentrate both suffer for some women. This can affect some women’s ability to perform in the workplace.
Vaginal dryness can cause problems with vaginal discomfort, which can translate to pain during intercourse.
Is There Treatment for Hormonal Changes After 40?
Many doctors have different recommendations for conditions like menopause and perimenopause. Changes in diet, exercise, herbal supplements and self-care can all contribute to better overall management of symptoms relating to perimenopause. Since each case is different, it’s important for you to work with your physician to determine which strategies will work for you.
In addition, many women respond to hormonal imbalance treatments that replace the hormones that have declined due to the hormonal changes that take place around 40. This type of therapy involves adding bioidentical (natural hormones that are the same as the ones produced by your body) hormones to your body. Because bioidentical hormones mimic your natural hormones, they help you feel more like you did before the hormonal changes took place.
Contact Nava Health and Vitality Center
If you’re a woman experiencing perimenopause, work with an expert in hormone replacement to get a perimenopause test and treatment. At Nava Health and Vitality Center, we help patients like you to find the correct hormone replacement for your body. We can also recommend a helpful perimenopause diet.
Finding the correct mixture of hormones is critical for the success of this type of treatment. To do this, patients must work with experienced professionals to be tested and diagnosed. The information gleaned from the tests helps the medical provider determine what types of hormones will help. To find out more about hormonal changes at 40, symptoms, and hormonal imbalance treatment, contact us today to make an appointment.