Estrogen Changes In Your 40's … and Perimenopause

September 28, 2021 3 min read

If you are in your 40’s and have started to experience hot flashes, sleep disturbance and weight gain, along with changes in your menstrual cycle, you might be wondering:

Is this menopause already?

Well……it’s likely notmenopause, but instead the often uncomfortable, rollercoaster years that lead up to menopause, called perimenopause.

Perimenopause begins with the first irregularities in the menstrual cycle and ends when you’ve gone one year without a period. You might begin seeing changes in your mid-to-late 40s, although some women experience symptoms earlier.

Perimenopause is a hormonal transition period that may last years, with a high rate of variability in the experience from woman to woman.

While we tend to associate hot flashes, depression and weight gain with low estrogen, perimenopause is actually a time of wildly fluctuating estrogen levels that lead to an array of symptoms.

The Perimenopause Rollercoaster

After 40, ovarian function naturally declines. Eventually, women stop ovulating with every cycle and cycles will become irregular. During the cycles where you don’t ovulate, you won’t have the progesterone production to balance out estrogen levels, creating an estrogen dominant situation.

When estrogen levels are high, or high in relationship to progesterone, women can experience:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Bloating
  • PMS
  • Fatigue
  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Weight gain (especially abdomen and hips)

This pattern of estrogen dominance with some cycles, but not with others, certainly feels like a rollercoaster and describes what the first phase of perimenopause feels like.

As time goes on, cycles will become longer (over 60 days), and although you may continue to have high estrogen symptoms with some cycles, you’ll have more time where estrogen levels are low. You might experience:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Depression
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Low libido
  • Brain fog
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Sluggish metabolism

During the reproductive years estrogen fluctuates on a predictable monthly schedule, but perimenopause feels all over the place! Symptoms may be made worse by excess weight, stress, a poor diet, endocrine disrupting chemicals and other lifestyle habits.

So, what is a woman to do?

How Pueraria Mirifica Supports Perimenopause

Pueraria mirifica is an ancient herbal medicine with an extensive history of use for rejuvenation and hormone balance. You may be familiar with Pueraria mirifica’s use for menopausal symptoms, but it can be started much earlier, during the perimenopause years for support during this significant hormonal transition.
Pueraria mirifica is a selective estrogen receptor modulator, or SERM, meaning that phytoestrogen compounds in the plant bind to estrogen receptors in the body. Modulator is a key term here: when the SERM binds to the estrogen receptor, it modulates the effect. This means when estrogen levels are high, it can dampen the effect of estrogen and when estrogen levels are low, it can enhance it.
This balancing effect of Pueraria mirifica helps to manage the up and down symptoms of perimenopause and offers an alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which may carry side effects and risks.
Addressing Perimenopause Symptoms
As you begin to experience the perimenopause transition, consider these two key areas of focus:
  1. Take a whole body approach. Use your diet and lifestyle as tools to manage your hormones. This means eating a fiber-rich whole foods diet to help balance blood sugar and support estrogen detoxification, while prioritizing sleep, stress management, movement and joy.
  2. Consider herbal support.Because of its unique SERM activity, Pueraria mirifica is a single intervention that may help support multiple symptoms, of both high and low estrogen. It can be used safely throughout the perimenopausal years and into menopause.

Instead of being taken on this hormonal roller coaster against your will….. Some simple lifestyle strategies can support your body and allow for ease into the perimenopause transition.

Amata Life
This Changes Everything!


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