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  • Writer's pictureHelen

Mood & Perimenopause

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Did you know that 33% of women going through perimenopause or menopause are prescribed antidepressants! Perimenopause has four stages and usually starts around your mid 40's, it lasts for around four years before menopause (although this can vary from person to person). It is a transitional time where your hormone levels begin to change due to a progressive loss of follicles. This leads to more sporadic ovulation with changes in oestrogen and progesterone.


In the early stages, oestradiol (the oestrogen you make in your reproductive years) fluctuates. In fact your oestrogen can reach higher levels than in your 20's. As there is also a drop in progesterone, our oestrogen is unopposed making symptoms worse leading to heavy painful periods, mood changes and breast pain.


With progesterone levels lower it is common to have new feelings or an exacerbated feeling of anxiety. I see many women who are suffering from anxiety and don't realise it is due to perimenopause. Progesterone plays an important role in counterbalancing the effects of oestrogen so with this lower it is bound to impact how we feel.


Towards the end of perimenopause both oestrogen and progesterone are low. Common symptoms of low oestrogen are night sweats, vaginal dryness and low mood. Oestrogen and serotonin are linked so when oestrogen levels are lowering so is serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in our mood.


Some of the mood changes experienced: Anxiety, depression or low mood, mood swings, irritability, rage, worsening PMS


What can you do to feel better?

  • Balance blood sugar levels - this is a time of increased insulin resistance so important to eat the right foods

  • Try to get a good night's sleep - sleep is impacted during perimenopause due to lower progesterone

  • Limit alcohol, ideally cut out completely

  • Daily movement - try to get some movement or exercise in everyday

  • Consider bioidentical HRT


If you would like support during this changing time of your life, contact me for a free consultation to discuss how health coaching can help you.



References:


Future Woman training materials


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