Perimenopause and Menopause Facts

 

Are you experiencing brain fog, mood swings, fatigue or weight gain?

 

Do you have more trouble sleeping these days?

 

Do you experience painful sex, urinary or even anal leakage?

 

These are some symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause.  Read on to find out some facts about perimenopause and menopause

Menopause  is defined as  12 months without a period.  Average age of menopause is 51

Perimenopause – can last 10 years or longer! (it is also a relatively new term, not part of our vocabulary 20 years ago)

Perimenopause symptoms can happen from mid 30s onward 

Some signs you may notice are changes in your period (heavy or sporadic periods) mild hot flashes, erratic sleep, brain fog, increase in UTIs, acne, uncontrollable weight gain, mood swings

During this time hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are trying to balance each other out

Some of these symptoms can be similar to pregnancy and post-partum period

These symptoms are common but not optimal.  It is NOT just a part of getting older!

 

Evidence supports the use of topical hormones in combination with pelvic floor therapy.  There are many different types of vaginal moisturizers (in everyday life for activities) and lubes to use to help with symptoms.  Also, taking to your doctor about topical hormones can be highly beneficial. 

How we eat, manage stress, sleep, how our bowel movements are (bowel movements can play a key role in hormone balance) can play a huge role in how we experience symptoms. 

GSM – Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (focuses on the GENITAL, URINARY, SEXUAL symptoms)– this includes not only genital symptoms (such as dryness, burning), but sexual as well (lack of lubrication, discomfort or pain, impaired function), urinary symptoms (urgency, frequency, leaking, UTIs)

Read more about GSM here

GSM is related to decreased estrogen levels in menopause

Estrogen has over 400 functions – some of which are creating the passive closure around urethra, making vaginal tissues firm as well as having a role in lubrication.  Lack of estrogen can result in urinary leakage, anal leakage, as well as painful sex!

1 in 5 women over 40 have anal leakage.

Abdominal pressure management, sleep hygiene, good glut (rear end) strength, role transition and strategies other than breath holding in every day movement, such as sit- stand can make a difference in GSM symptoms.