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Pre-menopause is a phase of a woman's life in which the transition from the reproductive to the non-reproductive period takes place. Premenopause usually starts 10 years before menopause, starting around age 45, although it can start even earlier, around age 42.
Pre-menopause occurs due to a progressive decrease in the production of female sex hormones, resulting in changes in the woman's body with symptoms similar to menopause.
Although it is not always necessary, the treatment of pre-menopause is done with the contraceptive pill or the IUD, and helps to alleviate the discomforts of this phase.
These are characteristic signs and symptoms of premenopause:
- Initially there is a shortening of the menstrual cycle from 28 to 26 days, for example;
- Later there is a longer interval between periods;
- A heavy period may occasionally occur;
- Decreased sexual desire;
- Reduction of vaginal lubrication.
The amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries begins to change between the ages of 30 and 40, so the menstrual cycle also undergoes changes and symptoms of this period can be noticed.
Although pre-menopause is a common situation from the age of 40, some situations can accelerate this phase, so that the woman can present pre-menopause symptoms before the common age, such as smoking, family history, cancer treatment or surgery to remove an ovary or uterus.
How to know if you are in menopause
If you think you may be in menopause, fill in the symptoms you have:
- 1.Irregular menstruation Yes No
- 2.No period for 12 consecutive months Yes No
- 3.Hot flashes that start suddenly and for no apparent reason Yes No
- 4.Intense night sweats that can interrupt sleep Yes No
- 5.Frequent fatigue Yes No
- 6.Mood changes such as irritability, anxiety or sadness Yes No
- 7.Difficulty sleeping or poor sleep quality Yes No
- 8.Vaginal dryness Yes No
- 9.Hair loss Yes No
- 10.Decreased libido Yes No
Make an appointment with a specialist
How the diagnosis is made
The diagnosis of pre-menopause is made by the gynecologist through the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the woman, as well as by carrying out a blood test that checks the levels of FSH and which should be carried out in 2 or 3 different days. The higher this value, the closer the woman is to menopause. Learn more about tests to identify menopause.
What to do to relieve symptoms
Treatment for pre-menopause is not always necessary, but if the woman feels a lot of discomfort, she can use the combined contraceptive pill or insert the Mirena IUD to prevent pregnancy and regularize menstruation until the menopause.
Natural treatment for pre-menopause can be done with:
- Have St. Christopher's Herb tea daily
- Consume wild yam (Dioscorea paniculata) regularly.
This natural treatment can help to avoid intense hormonal changes and therefore can relieve pre-menopause symptoms, but it is important to inform that the tendency is for these symptoms to worsen and for others to appear, such as hot flashes, headache and restlessness that are characteristic of menopause. The gynecologist may recommend taking hormonal medications so that the woman can go through this period more comfortably.
To combat pre-menstrual tension - PMS that tends to be more intense in pre-menopause, you can use:
- Evening primrose oil;
- Agnocastus (Vitex agnus-castus L.,);
- Dong quai (Angelica sinensis);
- Chromium and magnesium food supplement.
Practicing at least 30 minutes of physical exercises daily is also indicated to ensure good muscle tone, strong bones and weight maintenance because with aging muscle volume decreases and is replaced by fat, and this change makes the slower metabolism, leading to the accumulation of fat mainly in the belly.
How food can help
In relation to premenopausal food, it is indicated:
- Include flaxseeds in your daily diet;
- Increase consumption of calcium, present in foods such as soy, fish and vegetables;
- Avoid foods rich in caffeine, distilled or fermented alcoholic beverages;
- Drink plenty of water;
- Reduce fatty foods and
- Decrease consumption of refined sugar.
These measures are important to prevent women from gaining too much weight and to make them go through this phase more comfortably.
It is also important that a woman has some pre-menopause beauty care, taking care of her skin, hair and nails, as they tend to become more brittle and dry. Good tips are using keratin-based products on your hair and nails and taking a collagen supplement to keep your skin and joints firm.