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Perimenopause can be an unsettling time for many. Between hot flashes, sleepless nights and a decreased libido, many of us dread the inevitable natural cycle of womanhood. Here’s our guide on how to embrace your new era and take control of your wellbeing, naturally.
As a woman growing up in the western world, most of us are taught to fear the phases of womanhood. Puberty, perimenopause and menopause specifically make up for majority of our female life and the narrative these experiences carry typically include negative connotations.
Thankfully, in recent years the proactive wellbeing movement has gained massive momentum and we’re all becoming more attuned to our bodies and how best to nurture them in these phases, helping us to feel our best throughout every cycle of life we’re in.
Perimenopause is the prelude to menopause and typically embodies the same symptoms of menopause minus one key factor: the monthly bleed remains. Common symptoms of perimenopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, insomnia, decreased libido, moodiness and weight gain to name a few. Albeit, much like in adolescence and puberty not all women excessively experience perimenopause symptoms and of course, there are scientifically proven ways to naturally support your hormones throughout this transition enabling you to feel more like you.
Women commonly enter perimenopause in their 40’s and can remain in this phase for 5 to 10 years before menopause truly begins. Once an an entire year without a menstrual bleed has passed the menopausal phase begins.
If you’re experiencing out-of-the-norm menopausal like symptoms, fit the age range for perimenopause and are interested in approaching your wellbeing holistically, here are our top tips on how to potentially reduce the severity of the most common pain points.
As always, consult with a health professional to tailor your wellbeing protocol to suit your unique needs.
- Blood sugar management may be a good solution for hot flash management and/or alleviation given a spike in blood sugar heightens this symptom intensity. The simplest method to manage your blood sugar is to always pair fibre, healthful fats and protein with your carbs, and to move your body for at least 3 minutes post meal.
- Sugar, gluten, caffeine and alcohol can all contribute to hot flash severity depending on your body’s digestive ability. Monitor your body’s physical response up to a few hours post consuming and take a particular note of hot flash regulatory and intensity to decide if these dietary choices may be best to avoid.
- Flaxseed, Vitamin E and sage have all shown to influence a positive reduction in hot flashes among menopausal women and could help perimenopausal women manage these experiences too.
- Natural tea remedies as part of an evening routine have shown to reduce sleeplessness throughout the night. Chamomile, lavender and licorice tea are common go to’s to induce a sense of calm and better sleep.
- Introduce a wind-down routine prior to your sleep slot. Regimes such as stretching, meditation, journaling, reading, or spending quality, screen-free time with loved ones can do wonders to slowing the mind, supporting the transition to sleep, as well as increasing the likelihood of uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.
- Omega-3 has shown to support sexual function in a number of studies of women within their reproductive years, suggesting it could also be beneficial to boost libido in the perimenopause phase. High omega-3 foods include salmon, mackerel, herring, avocado, chia, flaxseed and walnuts. Secondary to diet, you can introduce a high quality Omega-3 supplement into your daily routine too.
- Ayurvedic roots and herbs Maca and Ginkgo biloba have been shown to increase libido and reduce vaginal dryness in menopausal women suggesting they may also support sexual function in the perimenopausal phase.
- Vitex Agnus, otherwise known as chasteberry, has been shown to reduce moodiness or PMS like symptoms in menopausal women and could also support women throughout perimenopause.
- Vitamin D has also shown to reduce mood related symptoms in menopausal women when supplementing 40,000 IU per week. Vitamin D3 can be naturally found in salmon and algae, or via safe sun exposure too.
- Strength training can support weight management among menopausal women. It also supports energy production, blood sugar management and bone density which is known to decline throughout menopause and can contribute to other issues.
- Body weight strength training such as pilates, yoga, barre, push ups and squats are great options for women in the perimenopause and menopause phase to build muscle and support weight goals.