Is This Your Perimenopause Transition?

3 Types of Menopause Transitions

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Menopause

Around age 40, women’s bodies begin perimenopause, the transition leading to menopause (the point in time when you stop menstruating permanently).

The hallmark of perimenopause is a change in the levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and the androgens. Yet this is not solely a physical event—it is also the biggest opportunity for personal growth and empowerment since adolescence. Approximately 40 million American women are going through the menopause process today, so if you are one of them, you are in very good company. Here’s a summary of what you need to know about this transition to help make it as smooth as possible.

There are three types of menopause.

1. Artificial Menopause

About 25 percent of women experience artificial menopause (menopause resulting from surgical removal of the ovaries, surgical disruption of the blood supply to the ovaries, radiation, chemotherapy, or taking certain drugs). For these women, menopausal symptoms can be severe and debilitating because there is no opportunity for gradual adjustment to the hormonal drop-off. Hormone treatments are often prescribed to help lessen these severe symptoms.

2. Premature Menopause

The second type of menopause is premature menopause, which is diagnosed when a woman goes through menopause in her 30s or early 40s. It’s usually secondary to autoimmune disease, nutritional deficiency, or some form of chronic stress (including excessive athletic conditioning) that has adversely affected hormone-related reproductive functions. Premature menopause occurs not only earlier but also faster than normal menopause, often necessitating supplemental hormones to maintain physical comfort during the transition.

3. Natural Menopause

Most women go through the third type of menopause—natural menopause, which occurs gradually, usually between ages 45 and 55, in a woman who has at least one of her ovaries. Many women begin noticing changes in their menstrual cycle and/or mood years before they actually have their final period. This transitional perimenopause period usually lasts five to ten years, though the entire process can sometimes take up to 13 years. There’s normally a gradual crescendo in the beginning, a peak as one approaches mid-transition, and a gradual decrescendo towards the end, as the body learns to live in harmony with its new hormonal and emotional milieu. During perimenopause, periods may stop for several months and then return, and they may also increase or decrease in duration, intensity, and flow. Whether you need hormone replacement or alternatives for symptom relief during this time depends on what else is going on in your body and your life.

Is This Perimenopause or Menopause?

It is virtually impossible to tell when you’re finished transitioning from perimenopause to menopause until it has been a year since your last menstrual period.

In other words, menopause itself can only be diagnosed a full 12 months after the transition is finished.

Nevertheless, because hormone levels both in the brain and the body undergo progressive changes during perimenopause, salivary hormone levels, urine levels, or blood levels can be measured to give you an idea of where you stand. Hormone levels can also help you monitor your need for hormone replacement or your dose.

In order to have the best transition possible, it is important to be optimally healthy going in. That means understanding what is happening in your body, and supporting it so that you continue to produce adequate amounts of hormones for the rest of your life.

Typical Symptoms of Perimenopause:

Many women sail through “the change” without any symptoms of perimenopause at all. Others experience a wide range of symptoms, all of which have physical, emotional, and psychological aspects.

During the years before menopause levels of progesterone typically decline, while estrogen levels remain stable or even increase. This is the most significant issue for the majority of women; many of the early symptoms that women feel are due to progesterone levels that are too low, in relation to their levels of estrogen.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone

This state of a low progesterone-to-estrogen ratio is also referred to as “estrogen dominance.” Some of the symptoms that women suffer when progesterone declines include:

  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • “Fuzzy thinking”
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Water retention
  • PMS
  • Weight gain

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Testosterone levels may also start to decline well before the last menstrual cycle. While the symptoms of low testosterone are often more subtle that those of low progesterone, for some women they can be significant. Symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Loss of sex drive
  • Decreased sexual response
  • Decreased sensitivity in your erogenous zones
  • Decreased sense of well-being, energy, and ambition
  • Depression
  • Loss of or thinning pubic hair

Symptoms of Low Estrogen

Estrogen is often the last hormone to decline, but is the hormone that is traditionally associated with menopausal symptoms. As you approach menopause your ovaries slow their production of estrogen. While your ovaries continue to make some estrogen for the rest of your life and your body is still producing it from other sources, the overall effect is a dramatic drop in the level of estrogen circulating in your body—about 30–60 percent for most women. Symptoms of estrogen decline include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Decreased energy and ambition
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Mental confusion
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Increased susceptibility to vaginal infections

The Wisdom of Your Menopause Transition

Although women have been taught to dread menopause, this life stage ushers in the springtime of the second half of life and is often accompanied by surges in creativity, vitality, newfound ambition, and the need to be of meaningful service to the community in a larger way.

northrup-affirmation_rise-above

During perimenopause and beyond, our goals and behavior become more motivated by the demands of our souls, not just those of society. We quite naturally seek answers from deep within instead of looking for approval from the outside.

The menopausal transition is actually a profound developmental stage in which unfinished business from the past comes up once again for resolution and healing, so that we can free ourselves from the outmoded beliefs and behaviors of our past. All the issues that weren’t resolved during puberty and early adulthood—such as body image, relationships, vocation, fear of aging, and self-esteem issues—now arise once more to be healed and completed.

While menopause itself is a normal life stage that does not cause health problems, the menopausal transition is marked by a statistically increased risk for breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and memory loss—all of which can be prevented if a woman heeds the wisdom of menopause and opens to her increased intuitive capacities. There are also a wide variety of options available for addressing and relieving the most common symptoms that arise during the menopausal transition.

Learn More — Additional Resources

For a full discussion of the three different types of menopause and effective approaches for possible symptoms, see Chapters 4, 5, and 6 in The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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  1. Verena
    2 weeks ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup,

    I want to use this place to thank you for everything you do and especially for the daily health recommendation. They help enormously on this journey. I really feel myself widening, opening up and smiling when I read them, and learn to trust the path, sometimes even when it’s feeling like it will last forever and never stop. Things click into the right places again, after being busy someplaces else for so many years.

  2. Maria Allen
    1 month ago

    Hello- I will be 51 in the spring and wanted to share some stuff regarding perimenopause and life itself. I have been “perimenopausal” for about six years now. The last three have been unbelievably intense. Personally, I have some challenges in my marriage and emotional issues that compound the up and down hormones of pre-menopause. My periods have been very heavy and I have been on and off iron supplement. Somehow I have had the courage to only consider getting my uterus out as a last resort. Right now, my physical health seems to be a lot better, as I take the time to pamper myself when needed and consume heathier food, along with some vitamins. But the thing that has been the gamechanger for me is cutting out coffee and all caffeine, including chocolate. I still consume a little coffee in the morning and have an occasional bit of chocolate. My periods are calmer now and the pain is down too. Yet this whole story would not be complete without mentioning how I have allowed God to guide and inspire me throughout this !

  3. Janna Taylor
    1 month ago

    Perimenopause has been the most challenging part of my life. I noticed in my early to mid-forties that my period had become very heavy. For about two years it was 21-23 days apart, but the bleeding was intense with severe cramping. As the days between started to spread out, so did the intensity of the bleeding. Out of the blue, I developed severe anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks sent me to the ER three times, before I finally believed the doctors who kept telling me that I was fine physically. I had MRIs, EKGs, Echo-cardiogram and numerous other tests just to reassure me that I wasn’t dying from some strange disease. I still experience the “dreads” from time to time. I continue to have hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, my face and extremities tingle. I am often dizzy. My thinking is clouded and I get tongue-tied very easily. Really, the list goes on and on. I just turned 51 and I hope that I am turning the corner back to normalcy. I know the symptoms are better than they were a couple years ago. My periods are starting to spread out a little and I have skipped a few here and there. I am not taking any medications, but I am taking a woman’s multivitamin, extra calcium, magnesium and B-12. Good luck to everyone on this journey!!

  4. Oak
    2 months ago

    Interesting, helpful and a bit scary to read everyone’s experiences. I think I’ve begun perimenopause (very early stages) but I’m not suffering many symptoms yet. Rather, I keep thinking I’m pregnant because of the long PMS symptoms and occasional periods several weeks late. I’m 47 but had my only child at 41 and a miscarriage at 43. My little guy wishes for a sibling and I guess the only real challenge I’m having is accepting that it probably won’t happen. I know it would be infinitely harder if I didn’t have any children. So far I haven’t seen the grieving part of menopause mentioned here. Others?

    1. Stephanie
      1 month ago

      I can definitely relate to that. I have been married twice (this last time married at 38). I, too, had a child at 41 and at five he is asking for and wanting a sibling (I have older children that live in another state-22, 20, 15). It is very difficult, especially when my friends as younger and are still having children. It is definitely a grieving process that is not talked about often. You are not alone.

  5. BrittB
    2 months ago

    Hello Ladies – aren’t we all in the thick of it! I am 46 and started peri-menopause about three years ago. I believe my initiation into this joy ride was a migraine that lasted on and off for a month followed by a light period for three weeks. Since then I have night sweats and insomnia on and off. During ovulation I get elevated blood pressure and rapid heart beats for about 24 hours. Stress tests & EKGs shows nothing wrong. Then everything goes back to normal – for about a week. Then the migraines, nausea, and crashing fatigue start right before my period – which by the way comes when it wants to and has more blood then most crime scenes. I have cramps that remind me of labor. Blessedly, it only lasts 5-6 days. My periods can come 60, 45, 31, or 20 days – basically puberty in reverse. Anxiety and the fatigue come and go – again no rhyme or reason to it. Doc tested my FSH two years ago was at 21.8. Not menopause but certainly not fertile Myrtle. I feel like some days I just can’t handle the physical symptoms because they are so exhausting. Then, just like that they are gone. I am not a candidate for HRT because my mom had post menopausal breast cancer possibly due to HRT (she is cancer free now 🙂 )so i get to tough this one out. Anyway ladies, we are not alone and we are not shrinking violets. We are the stronger sex. Hang in the Peri-sisters. Brighter days ahead.

    1. @Sandyluv2bhapi9
      2 months ago

      Hello, everyone. This is definitely NOT my idea of fun! I truly appreciate this forum and your willingness to share your experiences. I was beginning to think I was at the point of no return, until I read your post MsBrittB. As I was reading your initiation story, I felt as though I were reading a page of my own journal; it gave me hope at a time when I need it most. On Saturday, 10/22/16, I will be 42. I am having the migraines, nausea, crashing fatigue that is unbearable, anxiety (without good cause or reason–other than the fact that I have been having mind-blowing migraines, I feel my ovaries are trying to jump out of my abdomen and, I am, losing my mind), light periods with cramps that would disable a blue whale and night sweats, coupled with inability to regulate body temperature during waking hours. Additionally, all lab and diagnostic tests appear within normal range. Progesterone cream 2x daily seems to help with night sweats, a little. My mom and grand-mother are breast cancer survivors, also. You are absolutely correct, we are not shrinking violets, far from it! We endure and persevere. To your point, Yes! We ARE the Stronger sex and gender. Thank you for your post! You shed some much needed light on my day. Be Well Ladies.

  6. Tonya
    2 months ago

    Hi, misery loves company. 🙂 I started having hot flashes & night sweats in my 30s. I had a great aunt who started hers in her 30s. I just turned 46 on 9/21 and I can say that back around 2012, I had a really awful time with nausea starting up before my cycles and this went on until earlier this year, when things seemed to calm down. But now the random nausea is back, panic attacks, mood swings, craving food like crazy, putting on weight that I can’t shed. My doctors told me that I was too young to be going through menopause, so, one put me on Synthroid for my thyroid. It helps to read other’s experiences so that I don’t feel completely alone & insane. Thanks.

    1. Jaime
      2 months ago

      I am 38 and recently found I am pre menopausal and taking estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. I had a 13 lb weight gain which caused me to start investigating.

  7. Tina
    2 months ago

    Does this perimenopause cause your periods to change in odor? I had the normal type of menstrual odor and now @ age 45 since my periods started going off course, they have a nasty strong smell that I myself can smell during the 1st few days. It’s horrible. Is this normal?

  8. Ellie
    3 months ago

    How I knew that perimenopause started for me was when I woke up one morning with nausea and awful anxiety and heart palpitations. At first I thought it was just stress, but it continued every morning until it had gotten to to the point where other symptoms started. Just before my period, I had the worse PMS I ever had. Crying for no reason, breasts so tender, gastro issues, bloating..just didn’t feel like myself at all. Even after a hysterectomy to remove endometriosis, I still feel like this most days. I used to be able to sleep in late on weekends, but my body jolts me out of bed and just wants to move. Mainly exercise! If I don’t get out and exercise I feel anxiety. Must be my body’s way of telling me that it was time to change my life. Just wish the other symptoms would go away.

    1. Michelle Helliwell
      2 months ago

      Ellie I have all your issues. It’s awful. The racing heart,palps,internal buzzing,jumpy muscles and now onset of arthritis. I am also on HRT which I thought would make it go!

      1. Sandra
        1 month ago

        Hi Michelle, I’m 54 and feel that I’ve been going through menopause since my last period which was in June 2015. I’m extremely hot almost all the time and yet I didn’t think this was menopause because I’ve always been hot. Whenever someone in an office where I’ve worked has asked me what I think of the office temperature, I’ve always said “don’t listen to me. I’m always hot.” In fact, my nickname for myself has been “Waldron (my surname), the cauldron” because I’ve always had a hot body core temperature. I’m emailing you because of what you said above “jumpy muscles”. Every now and again, I’ve experienced a terrible Charlie Horse while laying in bed. I started taking Ionic Magnesium Citrate Powder which is entitled “Natural CALM” and it has helped enormously. All you do is put a teaspoon of powder which has an Organic Raspberry-Lemon Flavour in a glass of orange juice and drink. It is quite delicious! I also recommended this to a male friend (a retired firefighter) who had a charlie horse while sitting with a group of friends in a bar in Sep. 2016. He tried the Natural CALM. I saw him recently and he said the Natural CALM stopped the charlie horse episodes. Perhaps it could work for you and your “jumpy muscles”? I’ve noticed that I have jumpy feet in bed. I’m going to take some for my jumpy feet tonight.

  9. Alysa
    3 months ago

    Feeling awkward not knowing what’s going on. This is the first time this has happened. I am a few weeks to my 50th birthday. My menstrual cycle ended a few days ago. I had a few days of nothing. Then, I started menstruating again.

  10. Cat
    3 months ago

    I’m cracking up laughing at this very moment, after reading the first lines of this article!! I turned 40 just recently, and my first post-bday period started yesterday… much heavier than they’ve been starting over the past 6-8 months. About a half hour into my evening shift, I had my first hot flash!! Nauseating to say the least! I guess it’s time for me to implement all those things I taught my mom after I first saw one of your PBS specials, 20 or so years ago!
    #firstfortyperiod #firstflash #f….!

  11. Christine
    3 months ago

    Hi! I am 51 and new to what my doctor told me is Perimenopause. I sometimes seriously think I am going crazy. Told that what I am going through is “Normal”. Heavy gross periods, back pain, migraine, brain fog, weight gain, sugar cravings and worst of all FATIGUE. Have had every blood test, ultrasound, thyroid check etc. Very very very frustrated. My husband is very understanding but he has no answers or experience. Hoping reading more of your posts will help.

    1. Traci
      3 months ago

      Hi Christine,

      I started taking DIM and Calcium D Glucarate for high estrogen I’m sleeping better, feel better and I lost almost 20 lbs. with no change to my diet. I was also having heavy periods so I took Vitex for a couple of months and now I have not had a period in over three months. I will take that over the heavy period any day! Plus I feel normal, even without the period and no PMS. I’m going to 49 in Jan.

      1. Cate
        3 months ago

        DIM has also been central to a major improvement in my perimenopause, which sounds a lot like Christine’s. I have also gone to regular acupuncture with an acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health, which has radically changed my health. Giving up alcohol, sugar and white flour while getting vigorous exercise has also made all the difference. Perimenopause has been an agonizing experience for me, and I am tremendously grateful for the treatment and self-care that has led me back to balance. Christine — it might help you to know that feeling like you’re going crazy is a documented symptom of perimenopause. I’ve been there and it is awful!

  12. TL
    3 months ago

    I am 48 years old. I had a partial hysterectomy at 41 due to fibroids (still have both my ovaries). I don’t know if I’ve entered menopause since I can’t rely on the classic signs (period cessation, etc.). The last year I’ve experienced some insomnia, depression, nausea, and recently, anxiety, quick temper (I’m usually pretty easy-going), hot flashes and fatigue. How will I know if I am in menopause?

  13. misskyagirl
    4 months ago

    Thanks you so much. I am a 46 year old who is dealing with the insomnia. Today it was 320am……but that is so much better than 115am or 145am…so I will take it…I am also doing my saliva test today….and I have a wonderful gyno is is very holistic/natural…so once we figure out what is going on we can go from that point. I am not ashamed to say that yesterday was a melt down…..I was just so TIRED….and sometimes all I can do is just cry and let it out. I start my yoga teacher training today and I am thrilled….I will not let this transition in my life stop me from continuing this journey. Yoga has helped tremendously!

  14. Sharon
    4 months ago

    Wow..what a relief am not alone..am experiencing everyone symptoms here..terrible shortness of breath!! Thank u all for sharing. .am 47

    1. misskyagirl
      4 months ago

      I have also experienced the shortness of breath….thanks for sharing that…I thought I was just crazy…omg…what I roller coaster ride this is.

      1. Stephanie
        2 months ago

        Me too! Thinking I’m super out of shape or something but I’m not I’m very active! Feel sob

  15. Donnie Biel
    5 months ago

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  16. Ellie
    5 months ago

    I am 45 years old and am certain I am in heavy perimenopause. For the past few months I have not felt like myself. I am anxious, feel depressed some days, getting frequent hot flashes especially before periods and ovulation, frequent nausea, headaches and severe PMS which I did not have before. I have these awful mood swings where I just want to cry for no reason. I also have endometriosis for which I am having a partial hysterectomy soon. Does this sound like “the change”?

    1. Yasminr
      4 months ago

      Im 35 and the same. I had the Impanon removed and spent nearly three months in bed with severe anxiety, dizziness, chills, hot flushes ect. Im still suffering 8 months later

      1. Ellie
        3 months ago

        Oh dear..I was pretty much the same. Spent most of the summer enduring severe endometriosis pain followed by a hysterectomy. Had all the symptoms you mentioned. Certainly tough!

    2. Marty
      3 months ago

      Yes, it sure sounds like it. I have had terrible nausea. I saw a specialist that did every test he could think of for my stomach and in the end, put it down to peri-menopause. It comes and goes. When it comes, it might last a month or more, every day when I get up and easing by the late afternoon.. Hot flashes are certainly a sign the change has started. Just have to be patient. It will get better.

      1. Ellie
        3 months ago

        Thanks Marty. Once I had my hysterectomy, they ended up removing an ovary as well. My hot flashes were so bad as well as the mood swings that I had to have a small dose of Estriadiol every day. Right now i still feel nausea some mornings, but it is this ongoing feeling of uneasiness and anxiety that is really hard to shake. I do take an antidepressant that worked for over 10 years, but now that doesn’t seem to be helping. Some days are better than others. I do have a bit more energy since being on Estriadiol, but I still don’t feel like my happy-go-lucky self I used to be. Perimenopause is really tough on a lot of us. Especially when we are hit hard with symptoms all at once. Like I was. Didn’t know what was happening to me at first. Very scary.

  17. LHill
    5 months ago

    Currently, I am a 47 y.o. experiencing all these horrible symptoms. I have a cramp on my middle/upper spine, then the pain travels to the bottom on and off, my joint and muscles hurt- the pain travels, I have a crawling like sensation on my thighs, and tingling at times, tinnitus, dizziness, small hot flushes, painful teeth for no apparent reason, cold feeling sensation in my spine, lack of focus, extreme anxiety, feeling like I’m going to drop dead any minute, headaches, and dry mouth. I am going back to the doctor tomorrow even though there I have had numerous tests done, such as: muscle nerve testing, MRI, and blood work that give me a clean bill of health. Please provide a name of doctors who really know how to treat these menopausal issues. In addition, I have taken vitamins, and still don’t see any improvements; I had done acupuncture, had taken alternative Chinese medicine- Three Immortal and can’t seem to find any relief. Please advise.

    1. Wendy
      5 months ago

      I am also 47 and started experiencing noticeable changes last year…just not feeling myself. I was having extreme anxiety and insomnia. I will go several nights in a row without sleeping which of course affects my mood the next day. I had my yearly physical last November and all my blood work came back perfect. My gyno put me on Lutera low dose BC pills last July and I had an ablation done. Even with these two things, I still struggle emotionally and physically some days. I have a lot of tingling in my entire arms at night and nausea mostly in the evenings. I don’t have the motivation for my job that I usually have. I don’t have friends my age who have gone through any of this so I don’t feel anyone understands the frustration of it. I know my husband is tired of my complaining and I am tired of hearing myself talk about it but it’s not in my head. I know what I normally feel like emotionally and physically. The really bad evenings with the severe cold sensation then a mild hot flash right after won’t let me sleep and I don’t want to get out of bed the next day. Thanks for sharing your symptoms. I read there are 35 perimenopausal symptoms that you can experience in the 5 years leading up to menopause. My mom told me she sailed through it and didn’t even have a hot flash! I meet with my gyno next week and will discuss all of this then, although I feel there’s not much else o can do. I take the BC pills and eat right and exercise. I am not overweight either. Some days I feel like I’m going to lose my mind because I feel so bad and everyone around me gets on my nerves!!

      1. Ellie
        3 months ago

        I know how you feel. It is very frustrating when you are going through this and there is no one around who can relate to it. You seem to be trying everything you can to get back to your “normal” self, but for some reason you just feel very different. Between anxiety, feelings of sadness, nausea and other gastrointestinal issues, not getting a lot of sleep, feeling sluggish, and not to mention the low libido…it really plays a toll on a woman. Even lifestyle changes and medication don’t really seem to do everything to make you feel better. You feel like you are just getting through some days.

    2. Sharon
      4 months ago

      Feeling same as yours..like am going to die any minute..terrible shortness of breath

    3. Mary Fletcher
      3 weeks ago

      Hello You sound EXACTLY like my sweet friend Julie. Long story short…it was toxic mold in her AC unit blowing thru her home. Get your home tested for mold (air samples). She had Aspergillus mold ! Air scrubbers are going as we speak! She was forced to leave her home due to hurricane Matthew & while she was “away from her HOME” she started feeling better!!!!! This was an eye opener that it may be her home making her sick! You can google these mold symptoms & sick homes etc.
      U feel better soon! My friend has been staying w friends now for about 20 days & feeling better each day.

  18. Rachelle
    5 months ago

    I believe that I have been in perimenopause for about 4 or 5 years, I started out with periods being a few days late, sore breasts, then they jumped to a week late, until they where a month late, or even skipping periods.
    Today I’m almost 47, and I have migraines, hot flashes, and I get cold easily, frequent urination, and no period for two months and counting.. Please anyone else experiencing this

  19. Nga Hoang
    5 months ago

    I am a 45 years old Asian female believing that I am going through perimenopause help!

  20. Kerri jenkins
    5 months ago

    I am 49 and have been experience these symptoms for several years. I have also recently lost 75 pounds and have thyroid issues. When I finish perimenopause will I be able to start losing weight again? Also, when I go into actual menopause will the weight gain stop if I continue to eat healthy etc! I have been doing paleo lifestyle for the last 3 months and am eating very healthy compared to the processed foods of before. also I have an under active thyroid and a on medicine for this. Can this affect how long perimenopause hangs on?

  21. Stephanie
    5 months ago

    Is it normal for alcohol to affect you differently when going through perimenapause? Like intense moods, irritability and anger.

    1. Traci
      3 months ago

      Yes because it raises estrogen which is more likely elevated because of peri menopause, especially in relation to progesterone. I take DIM to get rid of the excess estrogen and it has worked miracles in my life.

      1. Iona McCulloch
        1 month ago

        Tracy, do you find that the DIM affects any medications that you take. I took it for a few days and it completely knocked out the effects of my pain and sleep meds so I stopped it as I need them to remain upright.

      2. Gale
        1 week ago

        What is DIM? Thanks. I’m 47, and feel like I’m experiencing the hot flashes at night. Some insomnia. Had an ablation a year ago. Worried about weight gain. I am active. Yoga and running.

  22. Lisa
    6 months ago

    I am 43 next month and have had irregular periods since the age of 39. In the last two years I have had only a handful of menstrual cycles. I am a high school teacher and the reason I bring this up is because my last two periods were the first week of school (August 2015) and the first week of school (January 2016). My hormones have been tested a few times and I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. Everything I have read says that lifestyle, stress/athleticism can lead to early menopause. Perhaps that is me as I have been under a ridiculous amount of stress in my life and I am fairly athletic. It has been difficult. My husband and I do not have children. I am the only person in my circle of friends to whom this is happening. I find myself depressed for absolutely no reason. It is difficult to deal with even small problems/setbacks. Maybe I am depressed. I don’t feel like myself. Recently my breasts have become incredibly tender. They have been this way for about 3-4 weeks. I have this crazy fear of breast cancer or that early menopause means there is something very wrong with my health. I have other physical symptoms as well. I feel very alone and wish there was a support group or something for people in similar situations.

    1. Leigh
      5 months ago

      Lisa, Alot of other women have written that they have the crazy fear of something being wrong with their health. I have experienced it also. Its perimenopause anxiety. I understand it all. Small problems that you let roll off your back before now seem like big issues. The depression and not feeling like yourself, tender breasts etc. Thats why they call it the change. It does change you. We have to remember there is nothing medical wrong with us. Its a natural part of life and you are not alone. Your friends are not going thru it now but boy oh boy will they. And guess who they will be turning too for support. Yes you dear Lisa. God bless you and I will be praying for you.

    2. Rattler
      3 months ago

      I started my peri-menopause when i was 39, after having a miscarriage. At the time i just thought it was stress making me moody and effecting my periods. Only after having my 8th miscarriage jan 2016 did my doctor decide something wasn’t right, i was told in march i’d hit the peri-menopause. Last week i was told i’ll never concieve again i’m too close to menopause. I’ve been offered HRT so going to give it a try before i kill someone.. Your not alone, i think it’s harder when your not ready for it. I certainly wasn’t.. Don’t dispare though, speak to a female doctor i’ve found them to be more helpful and understanding. Hope this makes you feel better.

  23. Heather
    6 months ago

    I am 33 years old and have two children. I have been experiencing shorten and lighter periods for several months, mood swings, hot flashes, dryness and pain during intercourse and lack of energy. I have seen 2 different doctors and told them I felt like I was going through premenopause and they both told me I am too young for that. Is there anything that can help me feel “normal” again?

  24. Lindsey Milligan
    6 months ago

    Hello, I am 38 yrs old and have always had heavy painful periods except when on birth control. I haven’t taken birth control for many months, close to a year. About 6 months ago, I noticed my periods were almost absent, light bleeding for a day or so, severe headaches. When to GP he put me on a high blood pressure pill for the headaches. Then went in for my annual with my guano in March, and have been bleeding since. Have high risk HPV, had a cervical biopsy, came back fine. Continued to have very heavy bleeding a clots, gyno put me on progesterone pills 20mg 3x day. Lighten bleeding for a few days. Had vaginal ultrasound, showed very think endometrial strip, possible mass. Had endometrial biopsy, came back possibly polyp. Gyno put in mirena, started have extreme cramping, and still bleeding, gyno said take more progesterone. To no avail, after 3 months of bleeding nothing has helped and gyno, is not worried about it. So here I sit, with sleep interruptions, irratability, constant bleeding and feeling of now hope in sight. Is my gyno a fraud? Or am I overreacting. I mean 3 months of constant bleeding, have our and taking another 60mg of progesterone with no relief. Other symptoms not sure are related are heatburn, change in bowel movements, lack of ambition, anxiety, lack of appetite, but weight gain, increase in blood pressure, constantly fatigued. Please help me understand if I am crazy or need to see a specialist.

    1. Lisa
      6 months ago

      This sounds terrible. I hope you find relief soon.

    2. Denise
      3 months ago

      Get ablation. It is a laser that will virtually eliminate your period. Your Gyno should have told you about this. Get a new one.

      1. Kristen
        3 weeks ago

        My doctor recommended this and I am wondering if you had it done. I’m worried because lots of people on forums mention weight gain and I am already very overweight. Would love to hear about your experiences.

  25. Betsy
    6 months ago

    I’m 42 now. Four years ago, so 38 yrs old, my cycle disappeared for six months then came back and never left for until I began birth control 4-6 mths later. After using them for one year I quit and resumed a normal cycle. Well last July 2015, I had a cycle, the nothing until December 2015. Again, period would not stop and it was excessive. I started bc again in Feb and am still on them. Period is regular but side effects are horrible. I had hot flashes I’d say 2014. I’m having insomnia and some depression which I’m attributing to bc as it didn’t start until about April. Labs are not conclusive because from what I understand they have to be monitored at different points in your cycle to show a true picture. It’s also been my experience that all docs don’t buy into ” peri menopause” and that does not help us at all.

  26. Tricia
    6 months ago

    5 years ago I started with flooding periods, cramps periods that would last 2 weeks a few months lasted longer than two weeks. Periods that would come every 2 weeks. Now, my period comes when it wants I spot here and there. My breast are tender and lumpy. These changes started when I was 46 I’m now 51 and I truly hope this roller coaster of periods and flooding are getting close to ending. It’s near impossible to go out when your flooding.

  27. Misty
    6 months ago

    I am 42. I have had regular periods up to about 3 months ago. For 2 months my cycle was a few days short. This month it was a few days late & now I am having another period 2 weeks later. I thought I might be too young for these hormonal changes so I took a look at my diet. The only thing I did different was drink Rooibos tea & add collagen to my breakfast. I stopped those two thinks but still got the random 2nd period this month. I feel extra tired & definitely more introspective & sensitive. Do you think I could be in perimen pause at 42?

    1. Gail
      6 months ago

      absolutely! I started at 38 with the fuzy thinking, insomnia, and sudden panic attacks along with almost overnight loss of libdo. Going on 7 years of thisplus weight gain and near constant water retention. All of this has caused my to become a hermit o the world.

      1. Christina
        5 months ago

        So what did you do and where to get help from dr or specialist that believes you ???

  28. J.
    6 months ago

    I’m 51. Regular periods. Slight symptoms like night sweats and irratibility. Last month I had the worst symptoms. I had extreme hunger like nothing I had ever experienced. Nothing satisfied it. It lasted 3 days. The next day I woke with anxiety in my chest like someone had died. This went on for 2 days. I kept saying to myself “this is hormones”. The hunger came back one more day. Then I felt like I was going to ovulate. I get the pain in my ovaries right after I ovulate. I have charted myself for 20 years. Well the ovulation pain lasted a week. I went to doctor to find that I had a cyst on my ovary which had ruptured and hemmorhaged. I asked the dr. If this could of caused all my symptoms. She said possibly. I say definitely. I know 2 other woman this happened to. One was so depressed she couldn’t get out of bed for a month. The other thought she was going crazy. Both had cysts. If you are getting strong unusual pms symptoms. Go to doctor. Get a vaginal ultrasound. It’s worth a try.

  29. Brenda
    6 months ago

    I am 49, will be 50 in January. I went 8 months without a period then had one May 7, this one was kinda heavy, more so than “normal”. I started again 3 weeks later, this time its very heavy with cramps for 3 days. Is this “normal” or should I consult with my OB?

    1. Maria
      6 months ago

      Sounds familiar, I didn’t have a period for 5months then stated back in May and hasn’t stopped for a month now, my Gyno checked with ultrasound and found I have enlarged uterus due to low progesterone, you might wanna get it checked out just to be sure, good luck, Maria.

  30. lynda
    7 months ago

    Hi I’m 49 female please can anyone advise me .. I’ve had uti past 3 months been on antiobics that they keep giving me every time I go Dr been on 4 lots now … Trouble is my urethra is very sensitive I think its to do with my estergeon levels …. Red in side vigina had camera done but all normal Dr just says I’m going through the change … Is their any cream I can use to ease my pain in urethra … Thank you ,.please help at my wits end Dr or useless just keep giving my antibiotics that I’ve stopped myself … I’ve been using d mannose which is great but still have sensitive urethra ..

    1. Anon
      6 months ago

      Colloidal Silver, specifically the MesoSilver brand (they have a website) was the only thing that helped me, and without side affects.

    2. PeriCrazy
      2 months ago

      GoldenSeal also works very well for UTI. Research it.

  31. Wren Willow
    7 months ago

    I am a 51 year old woman in perimenopause. I have had irregular menses for about a year and many cycles have become very painful and accompanied by heavy bleeding. I skipped January’s period and in February had a very light bleeding, which was followed by watery discharge, which felt like I went incontent over night. Since then (now it is May) I have had this pink or light yellow discharge, that is continuing to be watery and interrupted by bleeding. It has no scent and is not accompanied by pain and is not as profuse as it was, when it first started. two to three maxipads within 24 hours.
    I have been on Chinese herbs, Vitamin A, Bcomplex, C and Edry, see an acupuncturist weekly, without much success.
    Little sex drive, and irritabilty are my constant companions, too.
    Is this the new “normal” or do I need to seek the help of a gynacologist, as these are symptoms of another condition than I think, they relate to.
    Thank you for your response. Wren

    1. Sherri
      5 months ago

      Hi Wren, I’m 49 and have been perimenopausal for 5 or so years now. I’ve had heavy periods that came anytime even when I was on the pill and have skipped some periods also. I also had the same watery discharge lately that was pink, but also has been very dark and thick at times. I became so weak lately I went to the ER three times over the last few months only to be told nothing is wrong, which is good but not common to what I hear are classic symptoms. Last ER doc who was female said I need to start the BHRT that my NP perscribed the day prior and that would make me feel much better. I’m on day 9 and feel remarkably better, with no shortness of breath and my weakness is improving daily. I would highly recommend BHRT and wish you well!

  32. Dawn
    7 months ago

    Are headaches common in perimenopause? I am 46 and I can’t sleep well, hot flashes, periods constantly here and there however this last month I had my period 3 times. I just have this headache that won’t go away! Is it from this?

    Thank you,
    Dawn U

  33. Mama Lola
    8 months ago

    I am 48 years old, I had a partial hysterectomy when I was 40 but still have my ovaries and tubes and have been suffering from migraines for the last 3 years. I get them around every two weeks. They seem to be cyclical. I also have digestive issues once a month. I started a smoothie of veggies and fruits every morning and that has helped my digestive issues so far. I am typically very good otherwise with what i eat. I prepare whole natural foods for me and my family everyday as well as homemade Kombucha. I had read that estrogen helps with these migraines as I really don’t like taking the sumatriptan that sometimes doesn’t help anyway. I have been taking an herbal suppliment Peri menopause support with soy isoflavones black cohosh and dong quai but didn’t see any difference in my migraines. I recently went to my gyno to discuss estrogen but he did not have much to say. He thinks the herbal stuff is a joke as, expected. As far as estrogen pills he said it was up to me and gave me the prescription. He didn’t take any hormone levels and didn’t even ask about my diet or exercise. I decided to take it for a couple of months to see if it works on my migraines. What is your advice?

    1. Rikki
      6 months ago

      Mama Lola: Can I ask if you got any relief from taking the estrogen supplementation? I am 46 and also suffer from debilitating migraines mid-month and then again through my period. These started about 3 years ago. I feel like I have tried everything from continuous birth control to preventatives to triptans. I am currently trying a high dose estrogen patch while on my placebo pill days – does not seem to be helping either. The only relief I get is from Maxalt, which I will take right before bed. At least I wake up feeling good and can get through a majority of my work day the following day. My headaches are most definitely hormone related – like clockwork. Problem is that the OBGYN is not a headache specialist and the neurologist is not too keen on the hormone situation. I need to find a specialist that understands BOTH.

      1. Fe
        5 months ago

        I can relate with you… Been looking for a med doctor who can really understand and diagnose my uncomfortable feelings. If this is part of our perimenopausal or hormonal changes of our body then why cant they give solutions at least minimize the uncomfortable feelings we are going through. Ive been to different doctors but still Am feeling the same. I hate this feeling headache, fuzzy mind, anxiety, etc. When will these end?

  34. Terri Coulter
    8 months ago

    I’m 56 years old and my last period was 16 months ago. I just started bleeding a little, is this something to be concerned about?

  35. Iris Prcic
    8 months ago

    I am constantly itchy all over. Is this a symptom of perimenopause?

    1. wendy
      7 months ago

      This is actually a good question, my itch is from Candida Overgrowth, i have it all over, but perhaps it IS a symptom because yeast overgrowth is worse during Perimenopause?

  36. Kim Anthony
    8 months ago

    Thank God for this opportunity to talk to you Dr. Northrup. I had a partial hysterectomy 4 years ago for fibroids. My problem is that for the past 2 years I have been suffering with increased symptoms including hot flashes, headaches, blurred vision and mental fogginess. The past 6 month have been the worst. I am a hormonal mess. Hot flashes 5 times an hour that cause the headaches and blurred vision. I have recently quit my job because everyday I was experiencing these symptoms. I have been to my PCP, neurologist, 3 eye doctors and have had many different tests. My PCP insists that I am not in menopause because of my blood tests. Headache specialist thinks its perimenopause. I have recently started taking supplements, cut caffeine and sugar, and going to the gym. The gym definitely helps. But I am at a loss because I don’t have any answers and I feel so alone in all this. Where do I go from here for help? I have an appointment with my GYN but she has been unable to help me figure this out up to this point. Who do I turn to? My life is at a stand-still. Please help! Thank you!

    1. Rhonda
      7 months ago

      I experienced the same symptoms. Even worse. So much in fact that I developed panic disorder. I had no idea why I had the shakes. My family thought I maybe had taken drugs-which was proven through urine tests. I made my doctor test my hormone levels-even begged and finally she gave in to testing. Yes, I was in perimenopause. I was nervous, scared, panicked, sore muscles from being tense, headaches, and easily fatigued. Get on medication as soon as possible.

      1. wendy
        7 months ago

        Let me tell you something that will change your life, you are NOT dying!! which is what i thought when i went into Perimenopause, it is your ADRENAL GLANDS freaking out, they have their OWN job, and now they have to help out during this time of life!!! GOOGLE: “Adrenal Fatigue During Perimenopause” you will be SOOOO glad you did,
        long and short? the Only thing that helped me was Hand Fulls of Vitamin C.
        No Adrenal Disease, just Exhaustion…Some Docs say it dont exist, you must have either Cushings or Addisions, i am here to tell you that is NOT TRUE!
        The Adrenals make lots of Hormones,.. but get this???!!! they are making TOOOOO much Cortisol when you are in Perimenopause and THAT is the Cause of your Panic Attacks

        And Honey? PLEASE dont take Anti depressants for this, God oh PLEASE.

        Vit C lowers Cortisol, i have been in the middle of the worse panic attack, swallowed 4x 500mgs of Vit C and kissed the Ground that GOD gave us, it works within just a few minutes (and i am not heavily religious!!LOL )

        Wendy in California Age 51 and BEEN THERE.

        1. Jackie
          7 months ago

          Thank you for this awesome advice!!!! Just what I needed to hear.

        2. Stephanie
          7 months ago

          Thank you SO much for leaving this response
          I really needed to see this …….it’s like you left it just for me to read . May God bless you for being a blessing to me !

        3. Sherri
          5 months ago

          THANK YOU WENDY!! I am going through it too!! Exactly!! BHRT is helping but I have also been wondering if my adrenals are not ready for this rollercoaster because I have had severe exhaustion that has put me in the ER twice in the last 2 weeks!! Thank you so much I will check it out!! God bless you!! and wish you well!

        4. Tracee
          5 months ago

          Wendy thank you so much for sharing your information ..I just took 4 vit C’s gosh I hope this works.I have severe Hormone problems from peri-menopause. I hade cancer at 34 and went on hormone suppressing drugs which put see in “fake” temporary menopause. and now 12 years later I’m going through it naturally but it seemss my symptoms are way more severe tan anyone I know and its debilitating. I am looking fir a Doctor to go to as my quality of life now is close to nothing. Any other tips are very much welcomed and appreciated ..I am feeling calmer already ..thatnk you wendy and god..I love natural ways to treat these symptoms..god bless you dear ..hugs.

        5. C
          4 weeks ago

          Adrenals control critical hormones. The online video by Dr. Lam in California explains the cycle very well.

    2. wendy
      7 months ago

      read my post to Rhonda below, i meant it for Every lady here.
      My eyes started to go becasue of the high Cortisol/Adrenalin output during perimenopause, it was my Adrenal glands, they are fine, just stressed…my pupils were sooooo constricted, it freaked me out INSOMNIA ! heart palps, you name it, getting better now 6 years later.
      I had 20 20 vision before all this

    3. Peri
      6 months ago

      I’m 45 and am premenopausal. Last 2 week have been the worst yet. just a few symptoms that someone might be able to relate too (I hope so) is I’m having a hard time focusing in any conversation and knowing how to reply which is so embarrassing, Keep thinking of horrible things from the past that I’ve either heard about or saw, crying frequently, depressed, no energy, can not focus on my job. One night recently I was driving home and by the time I reached there I was shaking and burning up so badly I could barely get out of the car and into the house. I had to eat crackers and soda and lay down. It was horrible. I have a dr. appt. middle of June. I do hope there not something else wrong with me and that it is premenopausal symptoms. I’ve never felt like this. It is horrible and embarrassing. How do you explain to anyone like husband or co workers? This behavior is quite the opposite of how I usually am. Awful!

      1. Ellie
        3 months ago

        That’s how all of mine started…along with nausea and IBS flare ups.
        Anxiety attacks, intrusive thoughts, crying, no energy, couldn’t concentrate, feeling depressed and thinking about the past. All of that plus feeling physically sick from nausea, bloating, headaches, tender breasts..you name it.
        Welcome to the next phase of my life I was told!

  37. Aurieona
    9 months ago

    What is the product you have talked about for vaginal dryness when I’ve heard you on hay house radio? Thank you!

    1. 5 months ago

      Hi Aurieona, you can find it here: Pueraria Mirifica Plus Vaginal Moisturizer

  38. ab
    10 months ago

    I am almost 50 will full-on perimenapausal symptoms. I look forward to being on the other side! My health is a little complicated because I also have Epilepsy, currently controlled, but it wasn’t when they symptoms started 3years ago — like getting my period 2x in a month. Since I have grand-mal seizures, keeping them in control is important on many fronts. What are your feelings about combining the Pueraria mirifica with Tegretol? Do you have any experience with that? Is there any evidence that it lowers the seizure threshold? My doctors are fine with herbs as long as they are safe for me to take. Thank you!

  39. Freddie
    11 months ago

    Please I really need help. I’m 48 and have been a happy energetic yoga and meditation person perfectly happy into all natural food and life but the past couple of yrs I started having peri menopause rage and anxiety so bad I started taking Vicodin to calm down just to get through a day when I have to deal with people. I’m ashamed of this but I can’t deal with any stress or rude people without going nuts. I’m not violent but I’m scared I might if pushed! I can’t work unless it’s at home alone on my computer but even that is getting to be tough with fatigue and depression and no desire or drive for life. Im fat now. I’m not me anymore. I’m alone 99% of the time I’m losing the house I proudly bought all by myself 15 years ago. I’m in los angeles. I need help can you refer me to a Dr. who can help with hormones? I’m afraid of antidepressants. I tried the Barbara Streisand place but it’s $500 just to get in the door after a month or more wait.
    Can you tell me
    Does the rage and crying come from low progesterone ? What causes it? I cry over the slightest thing.
    I can easily wean off the pills but then when I do the hormone issue rears its ugly head. Then I start again. Please help I’m desperate!!!!

    1. Midwest_Mama
      10 months ago

      try moodcure.com Julie Ross.

    2. Cyndi
      9 months ago

      Consider using some over the counter progesterone cream. Look for one that has the label USP on it and also one with no parabens. I use 20 mgs. nightly of the Progest by Emerita, and it has helped my sleep and my moods immensely. I was also getting horrible heart palpitations from peri-menopause, and they are gone too. There are instructions inside on how often to use it. Some women notice a difference right away, and others might notice a difference in a week. Give it a try. It saved my life. And yes, you are experiencing peri-menopause. Your hormones are fluctuating and your body doesn’t feel the same. I cried over everything too. Good luck.

    3. Gwendolyn
      8 months ago

      When I read your comments I immediately related to them. While my situation is slightly different, I too have sudden outbursts of uncontrollable rage. While I hope I would never get to the point of harming someone, I cannot be 100% sure because the rage I feel is so great. However I am only 43 and have already been on a strong antidepressant for several years. I have a medical condition that prevents me from working so I am at home alone most of the as my husband has a job that involves him being away most of the time. I do not understand what is happening because I am not this person. I feel as if someone else has taken control of my emotions and body. I am gaining weight at a rapid pace. My moods are like being on a roller coaster. I have night sweats sometimes to the point to where it feels like I’ve just gotten out of the shower. I can cry over the simplest things. And am often depressed. I don’t understand why because my medication has always controlled this. I’ve always been aware of menopause but this is the first I’ve ever heard of peri menopause. I am going to see my local physician next week to hopefully find some answers. Unfortunately I am aware that it may lead to me taking more medications. Because of my physical condition I’m already on several medications as it is. This is certainly not the quality of life I expected. I just wanted to give a shout out to you to let you know you’re not alone. I hope you find your answers and have peace n

      1. Candace dussault
        8 months ago

        I feel exactly the same way . I cry all the time and I have been on antidepressants for years that have kept that at bay. I have very little energy sleeping 12 hours and still feel like I could go back to bed and sleep more. I am a runner and had no problems up until 6 mos ago ,however now my muscles hurt so much that it has really created havoc and I have cut my running way back . I can remember the day probably 7 mos ago when I looked in the mirror and it was like over night my legs and hips were about 1 inch bigger and it has gotten worse . Of course this is very depressing as well. I feel my body is not providing enough glucose for my muscles and it is causing me to be very hungry after working out. I have hot flashes and night sweats constantly , however I tried an estrogen patch which made me want to just lay in bed and wish for death … Ugh!! I take black cohosh which helps but not enough and I am afraid because it says weight gain . I am going to try natural progesterone cream so I will let you know how I make out with it . Good luck to you . The crazy thing really is that I thought I would love menopause as I had terrible one and when my hormones were at their highest levels is when I felt horrible and so I naturally thought menopause would be very good for me …. Boy was I wrong !:(

        1. Candace dussault
          8 months ago

          One meant to be pms

    4. Jennfier
      8 months ago

      Why are you afraid of antidepressants? You’re depressed and you are losing your house. Give it a try for a month and see if it helps. Forget about all the societal baggage about antidepressants and see if it helps you. Your MD can prescribe them, but if you want to give it a real shot of it helping go see an expert-go to a psychiatrist. Get real help before you lose you house.

      1. Aimee
        5 months ago

        I suffered from depression & anxiety since childhood…. But didn’t realize it until I FINALLY got help in my early 30s. I fought going on antidepressants too. Don’t. I thought they would “change me.” YES, THEY DID, but in the very best of ways. It’s like the “real me” was able to come out for the first time in my life. At first I was on Zoloft, which worked okay, but then my doc out me on Wellbutrin, which has been tremendous. I’ve been on exactly the same dosage for about 8 years.

        And I’m here because I’ve been having the mother of all yeast infections for the last month-and-a-half…. Which has been really awful. I’m 43, a proper weight, and quite active, but this yeast infection has laid me low. After a bombardment of 14-days of Diflucan, I am finally having symptom relief, but my doc has suggested following up with vaginal estrogen cream, and I’m going to take her up on it. I’m also making pro-biotics a permanent part of my diet, rethinking my undies (I think thongs are a thing of the past for me…. they are awful anyway LOL!), and VERY CONSCIOUSLY not letting life events stress me out (work, my teen son, taking on the troubles of friends too much…). Meditation is helping too.

    5. Carolyn
      8 months ago

      Freedie, i totally understand how you feel, and are experiencing the same debilitation. I dont know what the answer is but i know this, just dig in and do as much research as you can, try different things…. one you could try and put into google is orthomolecular hormones, their should be a product that comes up, try that… as for paying 500.00 for the right to good health, that is rediculous. I have just turned 40 and for reasons i dont know, my hormones have taken over, and the rage is so scary i dont trust myself not to go off the handle.

    6. Debra
      6 months ago

      Omg Im the same way….I don’t even go out much anymore cause Im afraid Im going to get myself killed if I click on the wrong person. The 5-HTP works good for me but I tired taking all this stuff now….Was in tears earlier thinking about may have to resort to the HRT and really didnt want any Rx drugs in my system but so close to suicide cause Im tired of dealing with this along with other life issues got going on….Wish you well.

      1. helper
        4 months ago

        The changes in hormones can be so extreme during perimenopause, and the endocrine system is so complex. Underactive thyroid, stressed adrenals, too much cortisol, not enough progesterone, too much estradiol. Try small amounts of progesterone cream to see if this helps the anxiety and rage.

  40. Robin
    11 months ago

    I am about to turn 47. My menstrual cycle is regular. I Recently (about 6 months ago) became sexually active again after many years of abstinence. Every time I have sex without a condom with my new partner I end up with BV (and a UTI). After I use the metro gel and antibiotic for the UTI as directed by the OB I end up with a yeast infection which then needs to be treated with terconazole as the diflucan does not work on the yeast that turns up in the culture. I am pretty convinced that all of this is a result of peri menopause and my body not being able to maintain a good PH level after intercourse. I would rather not use condoms as we really don’t otherwise need to, we are both STI free and he has had a vasectomy.
    Should I be taking estrogen to help my body (vagina) maintain balance? I am at my wits end with this and my doctor does not seem to know what to do with me except continue to write prescriptions.

    Please help !

    1. Lucy
      9 months ago

      Just a quick note on vaginal yeast infections: A doctor told a friend of mine that the best way to get rid of one is to get boric acid (from a pharmacy), fill a gelatin capsule with it as best you can and insert it in your vagina. You may need to do this a few times over several days depending on how out of balance you are. The idea is that candida is always present and thrives in an environment of a slightly different acidity than our bodies are naturally. The boric acid helps return the vaginal ph closer to that natural level thus making it harder for the yeast to survive and easier for what’s naturally supposed to be there to thrive and keep the candida in check. I have used this technique quite a few times over the the last 15 years and found it quite reliable. It’s better than the creams that wipe out everything leaving you wide open for another infection…And of course you can help it all out by keeping your sugar intake down.

    2. Arya
      9 months ago

      Probiotics may help in preventing these issues.

    3. Tara
      8 months ago

      Why my husband and I first became intimate I started getting chronic yeast infections. I had never had them before. I tried all of the typical allopathic remedies, but nothing worked. My Chiro recommended Biotics ADP (Oregano) and their FC Cidal. I took a round of that for one or two weeks and haven’t had one since. .. that was 9 years ago… I don’t remember the dosage, sorry.

    4. Sassy Red Gal
      8 months ago

      Both of you should think about a candida (yeast) cleanse. A man can carry candida infection and be asymptomatic. It can be a vicious cycle. Also, Apple Cider Vinegar to balance your(both of you) PH levels. Essential oils can also be very helpful to deter UTIs and candida(and make some nice romantic oils.

      1. Kim
        5 months ago

        I am now doing the candida yeast cleanse now.. I’m just stumped on what to eat

        1. Stephanie
          5 months ago

          Hi Kim, try reading Anthony William’s book, Medical Medium. He offers delicious, healthy recipes that help rid your body of candida. Food is medicine! ♥ Here’s an article from his site about Candida.

    5. Meg
      5 months ago

      I too have experienced this nightmare BV- Yeast cycle! It’s just horrible and disheartening. I have terrible reactions to antifungals. I have a wonderful Gyno who had me use boric acid vaginally to get the ph balance correct. I initially had a script filled at a compound pharmacy but now order the boric acid powder and gel caps on Amazon. I use them preventively after sex and stop the madness before it starts! Google boric acid and BV -Yeast . You’ll be glad you did!

  41. Debra
    11 months ago

    I need helppp bad with this transition because I am not one of the fortunate ones that’s going through this smoothly. I am having severe acne, depression and night sweats which keeping me from having restful night sleep. Supplements have been helping some which are Evening Primrose Oil, Vitex, Borage Seed Oil and find the Oregon Grape Root as a blood cleanser to help acne. Started back on my healthy eaten to see what happens but if any suggestion would be welcomed.
    thank you

    1. Christiane Northrup
      11 months ago

      Please try the Pueraria mirifica supplement I created. It can work wonders with perimenopausal symptoms of all kinds. http://www.a-ma-ta.com. And let me know how it works for you!

      1. Debra
        6 months ago

        Are there samples to get cause can’t afford to buy more thing that does not work.

  42. pei
    12 months ago

    Over the past decade, I have the typical symptoms of the perimenopause, with palpitations, aching joints, sweats, irregular periods, etc. Having diagnosed with autoimmune disease (sjogrens) and pcos in my teens and twenties, it does not really help with the hormones. Even once had high prolactin levels which indicated low ovulation although periods at the time was normal. Now in my early 40s, like to know anyone who are in similar situation and are facing possibility of early menopause?

    1. Christiane Northrup
      11 months ago

      Please try http://www.a-ma-ta.com. Read the testimonials. SO many women have been helped!

  43. Kristy
    1 year ago

    All of this it’s crazy that’s happen to me breast tenderness ,changes in my periods and unrinary tract infections ,insomnia. Thinning hair low sex drive joint pain! I am glad to know that I’m not alone but what I do I am 41 it started at 20 .

  44. Kristy
    1 year ago

    I am 41 have been having uinary bladder infections since 20 s now I have breastn tenderness mod eswings vaginal dryness insomnia and periods have changed from 7 days two three ug all of this it’s driving me insane help! Glad to know I’m not alone

  45. Chrisanthi Siolas
    1 year ago

    Can I take oral progesterone 100mg with Remeron 30mg and cymbalta 60mg

    1. Christiane Northrup
      11 months ago

      I’m fine with the progesterone. But chances are
      Good that there are good alternatives to the other stuff. Try the Pueraria mirifica herbal stuff I created. Read the testimonials first. Then ask your heart. http://www.a-ma-ta.com

    2. Verity Saffron
      10 months ago

      I took 60 mg of Cymbalta for 17 months. After realizing that maybe the Cymbalta was making my peri menopausal symptoms worse I weaned myself off it but removing 10 grains more each day from each capsule over 8 weeks. I added 20 minutes of cardio to see if it would help with the depression. Life isn’t perfect but 8 months after stopping Cymbalta things are much better and my symptoms are much more manageable. Don’t quit Cymbalta quickly.

  46. Maria
    1 year ago

    I think I just had my last period 6 weeks ago. I am 54 years old. For the last three weeks I feel these crumps, same once I would normally feel before getting my periods in the past. Is it normal to have these crumps for so long and I also feel quite bloated.
    Should I be worried or is this normal? Any advise/comment would be appreciated.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      11 months ago

      This is really normal! Don’t worry.

  47. Kim
    1 year ago

    Ladies, the uterus does not have an open door! The cervix is the entry point…not the vagina. Things do not flow in and out of the womb as one might imagine. The vagina yes, uterus no. As far as I know, as when in labor and during menstruation the cervix opens (painful/uncomfortable cramping) allowing its contents (baby/menstrual blood) to exit. Then it closes again.

  48. Jolanda Simone
    1 year ago

    Hi Christine, I am a big fan of you and your work, i bought that book: “womens heath, womens wisdom” a long time ago and i followed your work ever since. But i stay with a question i have never seen answered yet anywhere. It is never discussed openly i can recall. My question is the following:
    Once a woman does not have her monthly menstruation anymore: how does the womb/uterus still cleanse itself?
    I refer to having sex for instance, semen and other related flueds could still remain in the body, even if you cleanse
    it. Normally we would have our monthly period to cleanse and wipe the remaining smells and not wanted energies
    out, and make the womb PH neutral again. To my knowledge 🙂 But when that stops? How does the womb get rid of
    the sperm and smells which are not of her own? I have noticed that i smell my “guy” still after a week, and i am really good for my body, eat healthy and am very much in balance. Can you tell us, what happens when we are not menstruating anymore? Thank you. 🙂

    1. Shara
      11 months ago

      I’d also like to know this answer. Thank you.

  49. 2 years ago

    I’ve also been meditating on the identical point myself recently. Glad to see a person on the same wavelength! Nice article.

  50. Kim
    2 years ago

    hello
    I love your article.
    I really need some advice. I am 56years old and have been having awful symptoms for I would say 4years. I recently went to my doctor and results show I am peri menopause. She has given me an option of hrt. I am scared. I have no breast cancer in family. I have all pretty much symptoms, put on a good 2 stone. I had a hysterectomy when I was 32years old, I kept my ovaries. I have tried herbal remedies but nothing works or maybe I needed to take longer. Look fwd to your reply. Thank you. Please help. kim

    1. Patti
      1 year ago

      I also had a hysterectomy and left my ovaries and I’m 52 yrs old I’m emotional one min then laughing the next,tired am also a breast cancer survivor so I can’t go on any hrt.i have learned that there is bio- identical hormone treatments.

  51. Lynn
    2 years ago

    In 2013 I had 2-3 periods (I was 43). In 2014 I had one period in January. I’m now approaching one year without a period. I’ve had hot flashes (warm moments) over the past two years but no other problems. My doctor told me today I should take provera to force my period because a thickening uterine wall could lead to uterine cancer. I feel hesitant to alter what my body is going through, natural menopause, by forcing a period. Blood work showed perimemopause. Any insight or feedback is appreciated.

    1. Pat
      2 years ago

      I’m going through the same thing. Perimenopause was about the same as yours with some “warm” moments and pretty much no other symptoms. Now a year and ten months after my last period I had post menopausal bleeding with all the old symptoms of pms ……breast tenderness, acne and cramps. I saw my Dr who did a transvaginal ultrasound and found irregular thickening of the endometrium so she did an endometrial biopsy which came back benign. Now she wants me to take Progesterone 100mg for ten days to bring on a heavy period to shed the lining. I’m having symptoms of tense muscles, irritability…laughing one minute and wanting to cry the next, and foggy thinking. I’m scared if I take it it will throw my whole system off! And why all of a sudden am I having these symptoms? Ugh! Help!!!

      1. Ms. O
        2 years ago

        So glad I came across this.
        I, too, am having the same exact symptoms. Dr. is recommending progesterone to force a cycle. My body is doing fine. I have been able to manage all my symptoms with food and diet. I do not feel the need for the prescription. Is it necessary? I am 49 years old.
        Any advise will be greatly appreciated!

        1. Ms. K
          12 months ago

          Did any of you take hormones to transition? I’m going though menopause at 44, but lots of research shows that I should take HRT to protect my heart and bones. Totally confused. My doc says it’s up to me.

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