perimenopause versus menopause

Understanding the Transition From Perimenopause Into Menopause

It’s time to bust some myths. Well, perhaps not myths, but reframing the terms we’ve grown accustomed to when it comes to the transition from a woman’s child-bearing years to her final menstrual period.

You’ve probably heard this phase referred to as ‘menopause’. But that’s not the whole story. Menopause effectively is a moment in time when you’ve officially had your last period, leading you into post-menopause.

So what is the phase leading up to this moment, with up to 34 symptoms (and counting!) that you could experience and lasting up to ten years? That’s called perimenopause.

What happens to your body at perimenopause?

Perimenopause is when your ovaries begin to produce fewer hormones, slow down and, eventually, run out of eggs. This affects the level of hormones in your body, namely estrogen and progesterone, which can bring with it an array of symptoms, like moodiness and irritability, tender breasts, dry and itchy skin, and difficulties sleeping.

During this time, your periods can be erratic and irregular—heavier, lighter, shorter, longer or more painful. You may ovulate once or twice a month, and some months, you may not ovulate at all. This may go on for a short time or for many years.

This all means that your perimenopause experience is unique, and what your friend or sister may experience will probably be very different from your own.

Culminating in the fluctuations and declining levels of estrogen and progesterone comes with its waves and stages of different and sometimes unpleasant symptoms, including hot flushes, brain fog, headaches and fatigue. These symptoms tend to come in waves and occur when your estrogen levels drop.

What are the most common symptoms of perimenopause?

There are 34 recognised symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, but with estrogen receptors all over your body, there are plenty more symptoms that can arise. You may feel or have felt just a handful of these, but some women will experience many, and it can be a challenging time. Some of the more common symptoms include: 

It’s important to note that no two women will experience perimenopause in the same way. You may also feel different symptoms at different stages and in varying severity. Please know this is normal and all part of your experience.

How do I know when I’ll move from perimenopause into menopause?

There's currently no way to determine when this will happen for you, given the myriad of symptoms a woman can experience and our unique cycle, body makeup, genetics, and levels of hormones, which will fluctuate from one day to the next.

The transition into menopause most often begins around our mid-40's and lasts, on average, 5-7 years, but can be as long as 10 years. Menopause can also occur if you’ve experienced life-changing health events like radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or surgergical removal of the uterus or ovaries, which can leave you experiencing menopause symptoms almost immediately.

You’ll know you’ve reached menopause and reached the end of your perimenopause one year after your last period. This is when you’ll officially be in the post-menopause phase—when your ovaries have stopped functioning, and you no longer produce enough hormones or have enough follicles (eggs) to release each month.

What can I do to support myself through this transition?

There are plenty of lifestyle adjustments you can make which will all help  in keeping any annoying and unpleasant menopausal symptoms under control.

From limiting your alcohol consumption to allowing yourself time to rest and exercise while removing stress from your life as best you can, a diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, dairy, fruit and vegetables all help to assist you through this phase. You may also like to consider taking a natural menopause supplement to support your body through the many changes it's experiencing. Our formulas are developed to address the most common symptoms and allow you to find the best combination to target your menopause pain points from mood swings and fatigue to insomnia and brain fog.

If something doesn't feel right, don't wait.

Are you concerned that the symptoms you’re experiencing are abnormal and are beginning to affect your quality of life? Don't wait. You deserve to live and feel well through your menopause journey.

Get checked out by your GP or women’s health professional as soon as possible so you can isolate any underlying health issues and choose the right care pathway for you.



Discover our range of evidence-based supplements, developed with mind and body nutrients to address the most common symptoms and support your body and your needs before, during, and after this transitionary life stage.


This article has been reviewed by our expert advisory team. 

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