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  • Writer's pictureLydia Cotter

If you’re 35 and above, welcome to perimenopause

Hot and bothered day or night. Waking in the middle of the night and unable to get back to sleep for hours? Agitated? Brain fog?…Or maybe you're feeling anxious, burnt out and forgetful.

It might seem shocking but if you're aged over 35, welcome to Perimenopause.

Perimenopause is a transitional phase leading up to menopause, where our hormones are all over the place and our menstrual cycles become irregular. It can last 4-10 years. A missed period or one sneaking up on you 5-10 days earlier than usual can be one sign of perimenopause, but relying solely on it as an indicator would leave you with many years of confusion and symptoms (like rage, moodiness, insomnia, hot flushes, migraines or headaches) that could have been attended to and minimise the impact on your life.

“There are over 100 symptoms connected to Perimenopause”

Although Perimenopause is a physiological hormonal transition, there are over 100 symptoms that are connected with it. Some women more typical symptoms like night sweats, mood swings and irregular periods. Others may expereicne things like histamine intolerance, menstrual migraines, poor concentration and focus or weight gain around the belly, thighs and butt.

I've grouped them into 3 themes based on how they present in the body. Physical, Hormonal and Emotional.

A comprehensive list of symptoms experienced during perimenopause
Perimenopause symptoms

Pre-Perimenopause red flags

The hormonal shifts in Perimenopause don't just creep up on you suddenly, it is a gradual process. There is enormous variability for individual women. The reality is, our hormones can start fluctuating in our late 30’s- (typically from age 35) which is coined Pre-Perimenopause, where more subtle changes will be experienced like not being able to shift that 2kg winter weight gain or a heavier bleed, or perhaps your period arriving every 25 days not the usual 28. This is your hormones waving a red flag to inform you, you're in the Pre-Perimenopause phase. The symptoms then ramp up in our 40’s to join the Peri party!

I remember my initial Pre-Perimenopausal changes at 36 my cycles were much shorter 24-26 days instead of my usual 32 days. I was suddenly experiencing hives on my legs randomly and got really hot a puffy face at the first sip of Prosecco. I couldn't remember details like the name of the movie I had seen the day before, or what I was walking into the room to get. I didn’t connect the dots that all of these were part of the Pre-Peri party! I was distracted by COVID lockdowns, mum lyfe to my two little ones. And sleep deprivation from my 10 month old.

What’s changing during Perimenopause?

  1. Our ovaries become a bit resistant to stimulation from Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinising Hormone (LH) resulting in a slower production of oestradiol, progesterone and testosterone.

  2. We are running out of eggs.

  3. Oestrogen and progesterone decline. Progesterone will reduce first at 35% from age 35-50. And Oestrogen will drop 75% from age 35-50.

  4. Reduction in progesterone triggers FSH & LH start to increase as they are trying to stimulate the ovaries. This happens for several years before ovulation actually stops and so too do menstrual cycles.

Want professional naturopathic guidance through your Perimenopause journey to make it easier to navigate? Read about my personalised sessions and programs and let’s create a nourishing healing plan together, just for you.

No woman deserves to be misunderstood or mistreated when it comes to their hormonal health and mental wellbeing. 

Hormone expert for Perimenopause, Lydia Cotter
Lydia Cotter Integrative Naturopath & Hormone Expert

Lydia is passionate about working with women to better understand the changes that occur in the transition of Perimenopause. Lydia provides a beautifully supportive and nurturing environment to allow you to reach your optimal health goals, to enable you to feel you again.

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Jun 12
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you! I am 38 and this explains A LOT.

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