Dealing with Perimenopause
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Dealing with Perimenopause

If you are experiencing heavy periods and hot flashes, you may have perimenopause. Perimenopause is a transition that happens before menopause and can cause a multitude of problems including fatigue, anxiety, hot flashes and heavy periods. Learn how to deal with perimenopause safely.

If you are over 30 years of age, but under 50, you may be experiencing perimenopause and not even know it. Perimenopause is a transition that occurs before menopause and can last anywhere from a few months to 10 years. Women over 45 will typically deal with menopause at some point in their life, but little is discussed about the stage of female maturity referred to as perimenopause, even though it affects millions of women.

Unlike menopause, women in perimenopause still have their menstrual cycle, so their symptoms are often missed because of this. Perimenopause can be a very uncomfortable condition and often mimics menopause with symptoms like depression, hot flashes, sleep disturbances and anxiety. Menstrual cycles will often begin to change, either causing heavier and prolonged periods, or lighter unpredictable periods. Heavy bleeding and clotting from perimenopause can disrupt your entire life, not to mention the host of other symptoms associated with it, like severe fatigue and anemia.

Nutrition & Exercise Matter

Perimenopause can be dealt with best through nutrition and exercise. By adding good nutrition, exercise, and supplements to your lifestyle, you can rid yourself of many of the annoying symptoms such as hot flashes and anxiety. Getting 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise (usually walking), and taking supplements such as flax seed oil, zinc and magnesium will often put a stop to the majority of these symptoms. When considering flax seed supplements, it needs to be in oil form, not pill. Taking a teaspoon of flax seed oil a day delivers more of the nutrient to the body than the pill supplement can. Flax seed oil can be purchased at most health food and vitamin stores.

Dealing with Excessive or Prolonged Vaginal Bleeding

If you are experiencing severe bleeding or clotting from perimenopause, the options to control it are usually hormone supplements, or birth control provided by your physician. These treatments can have some side affects that you may want to consider- as with any hormone treatment program. Another option is a procedure that can cure excessive vaginal bleeding from perimenopause called the Novasure. It's a quick procedure done in an outpatient setting that sends electricity through the uterus which kills off most of the lining. The lining of the uterus is usually the culprit behind the heavy bleeding and clotting. Since the procedure is quick and painless and carries very low risks, it is fast becoming a very popular choice among women who are dealing with excessive bleeding caused primarily by perimenopause. Your doctor will make sure there are no other underlying conditions that are the cause of the bleeding through blood work and an ultrasound. If you plan on having children, this procedure would not be recommended.

Getting Tested for Perimenopause

Your doctor will order a series of blood tests to determine the level of hormones in your body. These blood tests can often fall short of accurately diagnosing the condition because hormone levels fluctuate and may require several rounds of testing. Your doctor may also take into consideration other symptoms such as depression, anxiety, dysfunctional periods, sleep disorders and severe fatigue.

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