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Feel as though your emotions are on a roller coaster ride? Hot flushes even when it’s chilly? Irregular periods driving you crazy? If you recognise some of these symptoms, it could be your hormones fluctuating as you transition towards menopause.
This stage, known as perimenopause, is less discussed than menopause itself but women can experience this in their 40s (or even earlier). Lots of natural hormonal changes occur during this process, including the ovaries gradually producing less oestrogen.
Perimenopause is different for everyone and lasts three to four years on average, ending when you reach menopause. If you’re under 40 and have not had a period for 12 consecutive months, this may indicate an early menopause and you should have a chat with your GP.
To maximise your wellbeing during this time, it’s important to educate yourself to reduce possible effects (now and in the future).
It’s important to remember that perimenopause and menopause are not illnesses, but stages of life. In fact, these stages present a great opportunity to take control of your health and change it for the better.
Anything that helps you feel perkier, such as getting to and maintaining a healthy weight, giving up smoking, reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake, exercising regularly, indulging in relaxing activities and getting more sleep can help ease symptoms and boost your sense of wellbeing.
It’s also a good idea to keep a record of the natural patterns of your cycle in your diary or with an app. You may notice you feel low at a certain time of your cycle, so look after yourself (if that means binge watching Game of Thrones, then so be it!). If you’d like to know about products that support symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, talk to your Life Pharmacist or explore our Women’s Health category.