All women will go through a phase in life called menopause. Some starts as early as their thirties, while some in their forties. Several women are apprehensive of this transition because of the several perimenopausal symptoms that come with it. However, experts say that it can be managed and all it takes is to adjust your lifestyle and perspective.
Menopause Starts with Perimenopause
Prior to having a woman’s period coming to a halt, perimenopause comes in first. This is the time when a woman experiences irregularity in her period. Some experience longer, shorter or lighter periods, until such time the period completely stops*. Once a woman’s period starts for a full year, menopause officially starts.
How a Woman Feels During Perimenopause?
A woman feels a wide array of emotions during perimenopause. However, the symptoms vary from woman to woman.
Generally, a woman undergoing perimenopausal symptoms may experience:
- Mood swings
- Hot Flashes
- Sleeping Disturbances
Dr. Howard M. Kravitz from Rush University Medical Center said that women undergoing menopause transitions find it hard staying asleep and are easily awakened early in the morning. Furthermore, Dr. Kravitz’s study implied that there are racial differences in menopausal women’s sleeping patterns. “Caucasians have more difficulty of staying asleep while Hispanic women have lesser difficulty of staying asleep being awakened early in the morning.”
Moreover, poor sleeping patterns may also lead to other complications such as moodiness and depression.
Hot flashes and night sweats are also common among perimenopausal women. Also called hot flushes or vasomotor symptoms, hot flashes are often uncomfortable surge of sudden heat into the body, making the face and neck blush accompanied by sweating. According to Dr. Robert Freedman who studied hot flashes for more than 25 years, hot flashes occur when a woman couldn’t handle the sudden changes in of temperature in the inner body. Sweating occurs when the temperature rises above the “thermoneutral zone.” Hot flashes may happen within seconds, sometimes extending to minutes.
Some women may experience none or all of these perimenopausal symptoms. Furthermore, the extent of time these feelings last is a case-to-case basis. Since it is a natural phase of a woman’s life, it cannot be prevented, but it can be dealt with.
How to Deal with Perimenopause Symptoms?
Every woman should remember that perimenopause or menopause is not the end of life, but a beginning of a new phase. While the symptoms may make them feel uncomfortable, there are several ways of dealing with them.
Harvard Medical School prescribes avoiding warm air, hot drinks and spicy foods to prevent hot flashes. When hot flashes occur during daytime, a woman may also wear layers of clothes and take them off until she feels comfortable. One may also be relieved from hot flashes by practicing proper breathing techniques and respiration.
It is also recommended to talk to a healthcare provider regarding other symptoms such as sleeping disturbances and moodiness.
Lastly, a woman will feel more comfortable about her situation if she does some lifestyle adjustments suggested by her doctor. Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, following the proper diet and engaging into exercise are some of the things she can start with. Best of all is to accept her situation with a positive frame of mind.