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What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause, or pre-menopause is a transitional stage of two to ten years before complete cessation of the menstrual period. Its average duration is six years, and can appear in women from 35 to 50 years of age. This has not been a stage of women's lives much talked about, and a woman can find herself experiencing puzzling changes, and not know why. What is actually going on is a gradual decrease of estrogen. The manifestations of perimenopause can vary. Here are some of the most commonly reported ones:

Signs of Perimenaopause:

Following are the symptoms women have reported. This information is not intended as a substitute for talking with your health professional.

  • Menstrual cycles become shorter, longer, or unpredictable

  • Flow becomes heavier or lighter

  • Low blood sugar

  • Fatigue several days before menstruation

  • Weight gain

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Headaches - from mild to migraines with aura and visual distortions

  • Dry and/or itchy vulva, clitoris

Natural Supplements:

What to do? First of all, recognize that this is not a disease process, but a natural phenomenon. Talk to women your age or older, and compare notes. See what they experience, and find out what helped to make it easier for them.

If you find yourself frequently light-headed, experiencing headaches or fatigue, stabilize your blood sugar by eating at regular intervals. Do not skip meals - especially breakfast.

Consider natural supplements. These are said to work wonders for many women, and do not have the side effects or high cost of medications. Add one supplement per month to your diet so you can observe its effects. By this sort of experimentation you can find out what combination really does or doesn't work for you

Dong Quai

This is a natural herb that has been taken by Asian women for hundreds of years. Asian women have very few complaints of menopausal discomfort compared to Western women. Dong Quai is like a female ginseng, considered an overall sexual tonic, and to said to regulate the hormonal and menstrual cycle, relieving the complaints of perimenopause. This herb can make your menstrual flow heavier, so it's best to abstain from it during the week of your period.


These are natural plant substances that mimic the effects of estrogen without the side effects of synthetic estrogen. Of these, the source said to be the most potent is soy. The fact that Asian women eat a diet high in soy proteins is another reason they are said to experience less menopausal complaints. You could get phytoestrogens by eating soy foods or by taking a supplement containing a concentrate of them called SOY ISOFLAVONES.

Other Supplements

Other supplements that are reported to help menstrual complaints are Vitamin E, Evening Primrose, Panax Ginseng, and Chaste Berry. Taking a well-balanced multivitamin that doesn't exceed the 100% RDA requirements is a good idea for over-all health.

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