Estrogen Dominance

The Changing Season Called Perimenopause

by Magnolia on January 10, 2016

Post image for The Changing Season Called Perimenopause

Update:  This post was originally written in 2008, and migrated to The Perimenopause Blog in 2009.  It has been updated and edited.  

So, here we are into May and I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting for spring.  In the Deep South where I originally hail from, I’m certain  they are enjoying very mild and spring like temperatures.  However, here in the North we’re still trying to figure out if it’s winter we want or spring.

Personally, I love winter and wouldn’t mind snow 9 months out of the year (must the symptoms of perimenopause speaking with those hot flashes and night sweats, huh?), but I also wouldn’t mind a few weeks of spring, early summer temperatures.

Yet, we are still not quite there yet.

So, as I look at the forecasts nearly daily to see if we will have warm temperatures or cool, I can’t help but think of the years that I first began my adventure into perimenopause, it was much like this time of the year – turbulent.

turbulent-surf-3

There were ups and downs, and times when I blew through my life with the emotional force of a Cat-5 hurricane. It was not only unpleasant for me, but extremely difficult for my family as well. Though the physical changes were challenging and sent me running to the nearest doctor and herbalist for relief, I must say the bigger and more difficult changes were those that I went through psychologically.

Truth be told, no one prepares you for those types of changes.  It’s also not an exaggeration to say that it is very much like teenage years.  Very volatile and very much a time of trying to figure out who you are – again.  Except, this time you’re redefining what you have worked so hard to define those first 40-plus years of your life.

Yes, it’s that big.  And for many, that difficult. I’m embarrassed to say this, because now that I’m beyond it, it seems so silly.  But the truth is, as a young woman I defined myself by my sexuality and my ability to produce children.

I mean, let’s face it, when you are a young girl approaching adolescence, all you can think about is when you will get your period, and the first time you’re going to have sex.  Ok, maybe you didn’t, but I did. And I don’t think I’m too terribly alone in this.

I-AM-BEAUTIFUL

The onset of menses signals womanhood in the minds of young girls and every young girl wants to be a woman. She wants to be beautiful and desired. This doesn’t change as one gets older. We are still that little girl in heart who wants (and maybe even needs) to be beautiful and desired. So, perhaps this is why many of us struggle so when we begin perimenopause on our way to actual menopause. 

If we have spent a lifetime defining ourselves through our fertility and sexuality, then it only stands reason that when it changes, so does your self-image.  I’m not altogether sure this is a bad thing……you know, defining yourself through your fertility and sexuality.  Maybe it’s quite natural.  And so it’s also quite natural to begin a new definition when this part of you changes.

It doesn’t make it any less traumatic however, for many of us anyway.  And I grieved in the truest sense of the word. In fact, grief in perimenopause is a very common and surprising symptom for women.

It took many years and lots of herbal supplements to me to get through those times.  But, I can say now with a certainty, that I am feeling much better about life and who I am. Though I’m still not too fond of those darn hairs that keep cropping up above my lip!

I would say that the lessening of estrogen and the emergence of testosterone in my body is proving to be a good thing.  And oh yeah,  ladies, great news: loss of libido in perimenopause is not a permanent thing.

deco2

Yeah, there’s some rocking and rolling there for awhile as those hormones are trying to find a new place to live, and the changing most definitely affects your libido.  But, it’s not permanent. In fact, the biggest secret out there is that women in their fifties and older are still highly sexual creatures.  But, if you are already menopausal, this is likely not news to you.

And to those of you behind me that have yet to enter this tumultuous time, or perhaps you already have…….take heart. There is something better on the other side.  The calmer, less turbulent waters of menopause.  And if you can be so lucky and blessed – grandchildren!

{ 1 comment }

Birth Control Pills for Perimenopause Symptoms?

Thumbnail image for Birth Control Pills for Perimenopause Symptoms?

I’ve never been a huge fan of birth control pills. Though, like many young women in the 60s and 70s, I certainly tried them.  I also had a lot of friends who simple had to take them (or so they were told), to help regulate their menstrual cycles. Fortunately for me, they were never a […]

August 7, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

The Importance of Estrogen for Sleep in Perimenopause & Menopause

Thumbnail image for The Importance of Estrogen for Sleep in Perimenopause & Menopause

I started using the Vivelle Dot Patch, a transdermal, bioidentical estradiol, about two years ago.  You can read a couple of posts I did on it when I first started using it here  and here.  I started using it because I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  was experiencing debilitating joint and muscle pain, was lost […]

April 24, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Food as Medicine: Magnesium for Anxiety & Panic Attacks in Perimenopause

Thumbnail image for Food as Medicine: Magnesium for Anxiety & Panic Attacks in Perimenopause

In researching Vitamin D and magnesium benefits for my first post in the “Food as Medicine series, I was very intrigued by a statement I had read about magnesium at GreenMedInfo.com: “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency.  Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body……..A […]

March 13, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Estrogen, Uterine Polyps & Me

Thumbnail image for Estrogen, Uterine Polyps & Me

UPDATE: A reader left a comment pointing out that this article wasn’t entirely accurate.  She herself had undergone a procedure to have uterine polyps removed and informed me that hers were so deeply embedded in her uterus, that there was no possible way for a routine gynecological exam to discover them. She also noted there […]

January 30, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Hormone Imbalance? Oh, Honey, You’re Just Crazy!

Thumbnail image for Hormone Imbalance? Oh, Honey, You’re Just Crazy!

I ran across an article last year at the online publication The UK Daily Mail entitled, “Women with extreme PMS will now be deemed ‘mentally ill’ following controversial revision of health manual.” The health manual cited in the article is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by the American Psychiatric Association. The “extreme PMS” […]

January 7, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Prometrium: An Oral FDA Approved Bioidentical Progesterone

Thumbnail image for Prometrium: An Oral FDA Approved Bioidentical Progesterone

It is no secret that I personally prefer bioidentical hormones for the treatment of symptoms of perimenopause as opposed to synthetic hormones and drugs. In fact, I sincerely believe that most women prefer natural, healthier, and less intrusive treatments as well. However, most bioidentical hormones are not FDA approved, and therefore, are not covered by most health insurance plans. Unfortunately, this […]

October 22, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Hot Flashes & Stress in Perimenopause? Breathe Deep with Zenytime!

Thumbnail image for Hot Flashes & Stress in Perimenopause?  Breathe Deep with Zenytime!

If you’re looking for alternatives to hormone therapy to treat your symptoms of perimenopause, today’s sponsored post will be of great interest to you!   Read on to learn about an exciting new App for your phone which will help you manage hot flashes and stress during perimenopause!   “If you practice deep breathing exercises […]

October 13, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Heavy, Flooding Periods

Thumbnail image for 35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Heavy, Flooding Periods

When the average woman thinks of perimenopause symptoms she usually thinks of the proverbial night sweats and hot flashes. Perhaps even a few mood swings thrown in for good measure. What many do not know, however, and are often surprised to find out, is that heavy, flooding periods with painful cramping and large blood clots are a common complaint for many women […]

September 1, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Menopause is a Fact of Life, Treatment Options are a Choice

Thumbnail image for Menopause is a Fact of Life, Treatment Options are a Choice

It doesn’t matter where a woman lives. It doesn’t matter what language she speaks or how she spends her day. Menopause is a fact of her life. Every day, in the U.S. alone 6,000 women begin this mid-life adventure with hot flashes, a sudden mood swings, painful vaginal dryness, night sweats, and restless sleeping patterns. […]

April 7, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Endometrial Hyperplasia: An Over-Diagnosed Condition in Perimenopausal Women

Thumbnail image for Endometrial Hyperplasia: An Over-Diagnosed Condition in Perimenopausal Women

Today’s post is a guest post by Dr. Roger Reichert, a leading expert in endometrial hyperplasia.  Endometrial hyperplasia is a medical term for the abnormal thickening of the lining of the uterus which causes heavy, irregular bleeding. This condition is commonly diagnosed in perimenopausal women, and has certainly been a popular topic here at The […]

August 9, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Why do I feel like I’m Going Crazy in Perimenopause?

Thumbnail image for Why do I feel like I’m Going Crazy in Perimenopause?

It is the most common thing I hear from women regarding perimenopause. “I feel like I’m going crazy! What is wrong with me?” And there are a variety of reasons why women might feel this way too. Personally, I think the primary reason is the simple “craziness” of perimenopause in general. The wacky mood swings, […]

July 1, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Mayo Clinic Study on Low Estrogen Causing Weight Gain Unclear?

Thumbnail image for Mayo Clinic Study on Low Estrogen Causing Weight Gain Unclear?

That’s certainly my opinion.  The Internet is abuzz with news about a recently released study co-authored by a physician at The Mayo Clinic, which says that low estrogen is the cause of weight gain in menopausal women. The actual study is entitled, “Adipocyte Fatty Acid Storage Factors Enhance Subcutaneous Fat Storage in Postmenopausal Women” and […]

May 17, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

New Study Says Menopause Weight Gain is Due to Low Estrogen?

Thumbnail image for New Study Says Menopause Weight Gain is Due to Low Estrogen?

You may have heard of a new study co-authored and released recently by the Mayo Clinic, which says that women in their post-menopause years have trouble losing weight due to “low estrogen” which causes our body to “hang onto fat” in order to “hang onto estrogen.” The study specifically says that: “Scientists have long known […]

May 8, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Anxiety and Estrogen Dominance

Thumbnail image for 35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Anxiety and Estrogen Dominance

In Part I of this post, Dr. Jennifer Landa, Chief Medical Officer with Body LogicMD, discussed the role of fluctuating levels of progesterone in women who suffer with anxiety and panic attacks during perimenopause. Today, Dr. Landa continues the discussion and includes the role of estrogen dominance. I always say that perimenopause is a full […]

December 7, 2012 CONTINUE READING →

Weight Gain in Perimenopause: Baked Rutabaga

Thumbnail image for Weight Gain in Perimenopause: Baked Rutabaga

Update: Images may or may not accurately reflect the recipe The rutabaga is a root vegetable that looks very much like a turnip with yellow-orange flesh and ridges at its neck.  Although this beta carotene-rich vegetable has been grown and marketed in our country for nearly 200 years, it remains an uncommon food in American dining. […]

September 12, 2009 CONTINUE READING →

Weight Gain in Perimenopause: Grilled Salmon with Dill and Lemon

Thumbnail image for Weight Gain in Perimenopause: Grilled Salmon with Dill and Lemon

Update: Images may or may not accurately reflect the recipe 2 Tble dill 1 tsp garlic powder 4 Tble extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tble white wine vinegar with tarragon Juice of 2 lemons 4 (1-inch thick) salmon steaks, 4 ounces each Mix dill, garlic powder, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice.  Pour mixture over salmon steaks […]

September 5, 2009 CONTINUE READING →

Weight Gain in Perimenopause: Asian Cabbage

Update: Images may or may not accurately reflect the recipe 2 1/2 cups finely shredded cabbage 1 cup grated carrots 1 cup fresh spinach 2 Tble extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tsp grated ginger root Dash of Tabasco or hot (optional) Lemon juice 1 Tble toasted sesame seeds Stir-fry the cabbage, carrots, and spinach in olive oil […]

September 2, 2009 CONTINUE READING →

Guest Blogger: Women’s Health News

Update: It is 2016, and Women’s Health News is no longer an active blog.  However, the links in the post below are still good, and she may still have some interesting content available for you to read.     Who doesn’t need and want information when they hit perimenopause?  I don’t know about you, but the intensity […]

March 22, 2008 CONTINUE READING →