What happens hormonally in your forties (or even late thirties)

When you get near or enter your forties, you may notice a shift in your hormones.  Maybe your cycle hasn’t changed much but your moods have or you are suddenly getting PMS symptoms? 

You are not alone!

Perimenopause is not widely heard of, yet can bring with it a hormonal roller coaster.  It is a very different time to Menopause, as menopause is a time of low estrogen, Perimenopause is often a time of an estrogen roller coaster.  Perimenopause is the 2-12 years prior to menopause when you start to feel symptoms – Menopause is the years after you have had no period for a year and symptoms settle down for most Women.

Perimenopause Symptoms include:

  1. New onset heavy/and or longer flow
  2. Shorter menstrual cycles (less time between cycles)
  3. New sore, lumpy of swollen breasts
  4. New mid sleep waking
  5. Increased menstrual cramps
  6. Onset of night sweats, particularly in the premenstrual period
  7. New or increased migraine headaches
  8. New or increased premenstrual mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  9. Weight gain without changes in exercise of eating

You are likely to be in perimenopause if you have 3 of the above symptoms despite regular menstrual cycles.  The symptoms of perimenopause can come on quite quickly and can have quite a major effect on your life and can make you feel like you are suddenly not your normal self.

Many Women are lead to believe that estrogen slowly declines in your forties.  You only need to look at the menopause relief supplements to see that most are focused on supporting estrogen levels.  However, the truth is, estrogen is often soaring to levels twice what it was before, and then crashing to almost nothing.  At the same time progesterone is actually declining.  This is an issue as progesterone counteracts estrogen, preventing estrogen excess symptoms. So now we are experiencing hormone imbalance.  

Progesterone is a calming hormone, so when it declines, you have less stress tolerance.  This unfortunately comes along at a time when you probably have more stress then other times in your life, with family, career etc.  This means you can be more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and insomnia. 

The good news is that this stage won’t last forever, and there are things we can do to lessen symptoms and build hormonal resilience.

Part 2 will talk about what you can do to support progesterone production, help your body clear excess estrogen, reduce inflammation and restore your energy.

If you feel like you need one on one advice, I love helping Women at this stage of life with the things above and more.  Please reach out if you would like to work with me.  You can book a discovery call to see if we would be a good fit to work together.