The arrival of 40 years in women's lives can be an important milestone and promote several transformations, from emotional to physical. This can be a phase of new concerns and decisions, of a new look at our self-care. It is true that we look and act to stay young for longer, compared to our ancestral women, however our body counts the years and delegates our hormones to them.

More tick-tock less tick-tock, perimenopause (also called pre-menopause) begins to show signs. 

And what about perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the period of time that precedes menopause (the moment in our life when the ovaries stop producing eggs and, consequently, we stop menstruating - see our blog article on menopause here). 

Perimenopause usually begins a few years before menopause, around the age of 40, but it can vary from woman to woman. During perimenopause, the production of estrogen and progesterone hormone levels begin to fluctuate, which can lead to a series of symptoms such as menstrual irregularities, hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, insomnia, among others. At this stage there is a gradual decrease in estrogen levels - a key female hormone for our well-being. Although hormonal fluctuations can vary significantly from woman to woman, this is an important transition phase in our lives and requires attention in order to minimize the possible impacts on our daily lives. 

The hormonal changes that can occur during perimenopause are:

  • Decrease in estrogen: estrogen is the main female sex hormone and plays a fundamental role in the menstrual cycle and in the regulation of the reproductive system. During perimenopause, estrogen levels begin to gradually decline, leading to reduced regularity and predictability of menstrual cycles.
  • Fluctuations in progesterone levels: Progesterone is another important hormone in the menstrual cycle, which helps regulate the uterine lining. During perimenopause, progesterone levels can also fluctuate, resulting in irregular menstrual cycles.
  • Increase in Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): as the ovaries age and estrogen production decreases, the pituitary gland increases production of the hormone FSH. FSH plays a crucial role in the maturation of ovarian follicles and in stimulating the ovaries to produce estrogen - high FSH levels may be a marker of the arrival of perimenopause.

It is Hormonal fluctuations can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as: 

  • Irregular menstrual cycles: Menstrual cycles may become shorter or longer during perimenopause; there may be months when we don't menstruate; bleeding may become lighter or more intense.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats: low estrogen is associated with hot flashes, also known as hot flashes, which can cause sudden heat, facial flushing, intense sweating and heart palpitations; Night sweats are hot flashes that occur during sleep.
  • Mood changes: Many women experience mood changes during perimenopause such as irritability, anxiety, mild depression and emotional changes.
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders: Hormonal fluctuations can affect sleep, leading to insomnia, difficulty falling or staying asleep and waking up frequently during the night.
  • Vaginal dryness: falling estrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness and atrophy, resulting in discomfort during sexual activity, itching, burning and greater susceptibility to urinary tract infections.
  • Loss of bone density: estrogen plays an important role in maintaining bone density, consequently, the low production of this hormone during perimenopause can contribute to the loss of bone mass, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
  • Changes in skin and hair: some aesthetic symptoms may occur, such as the skin becoming thinner, dryer and prone to wrinkles, as well as hair loss or thinning of the strands.
  • Weight gain: Some women may notice weight gain during perimenopause, especially in the abdominal region, due to hormonal changes and slower metabolism.
  • Changes in cholesterol: the drop in estrogen levels can affect cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Mitigating the drop in estrogen during perimenopause can be achieved through a number of approaches, which can be chosen based on individual symptoms and preferred therapeutic options. It is important to discuss your options with a doctor or gynecologist, as treatment can vary from person to person. 

Some strategies that can help mitigate low estrogen during perimenopause include:

  • Herbal Supplements: some herbal supplements, such as St. John's wort, red clover and black cohosh, may help alleviate symptoms - it is important to speak to your doctor before starting any supplements, as they may interact with other medicines.
  • Healthy lifestyle: adopting a healthy lifestyle can help alleviate the symptoms of perimenopause - having a balanced diet, regular exercise, weight control, reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, and relaxation practices such as yoga and meditation.
  • behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective for dealing with emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression. 
  • Antidepressants: in the case of very strong and disabling mood changes.
  • Localized treatmentTo alleviate vaginal dryness: the use of vaginal lubricants, vaginal creams with estrogen or intimate oils may be recommended - these treatments are applied directly to the affected area and have less systemic impact.

It is important to emphasize that the choice of treatment must be personalized based on individual symptoms, medical history and preferences. Additionally, any form of hormone therapy should be carefully monitored by a doctor to weigh the risks and benefits, especially in women with a history of breast cancer, heart disease, or other risk factors.

If you are at this stage or identify with any of the symptoms described here, The first important step is to discuss your concerns and symptoms with a qualified healthcare professional who can guide you on the best approach to mitigating low estrogen.

The experience of perimenopause varies from woman to woman and not all of us experience the same symptoms. There are women who go through perimenopause with minimal symptoms, others may experience more intense symptoms. If you feel that your symptoms are more severe or that they significantly affect your quality of life, it is advisable to seek medical advice to alleviate them and reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as osteoporosis.

Pay attention to what your body tells you. Take care of yourself, always! 

To help control some symptoms during this phase, consult Flow products:

Intimate oil (perineum massage oil, ideal for vaginal dryness)

Pack Be Relax (stress relief) 

Enecta CBD Hemp Oil (an excellent ally for female hormonal health - check out all the information on our website and read our article here)

Flow is a brand of intimate hygiene products, an educational brand and we want to help transform the way we act in the world!

Are you coming with us?

Margaret L.


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