8 ways to help with perimenopause symptoms-image

8 ways to help with perimenopause symptoms

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is a transition period leading up to menopause. This is when your body starts preparing you for menopause. Perimenopause can last anywhere from a few months to several years, with the average length being four years. However, this will depend on the individual, your lifestyle and hormonal make-up. If you have a question, our Menopause Specialists can provide In-depth, personalised advice and expert guidance, including detailed next steps which may include HRT prescriptions.

Most people start perimenopause at some point after their mid-40s, but some as early as their mid-thirties (although this is quite uncommon).

During this time, the ovaries begin making less oestrogen and progesterone, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain

It feels like a lot! While perimenopause can be a challenging time, there are a number of things you can do to help manage your perimenopause symptoms and improve your overall well-being.


Eight ways you can manage perimenopause symptoms

1. Exercise regularly

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, and it can be especially beneficial during perimenopause. Exercise helps to reduce hot flashes, improve mood, boost energy levels, and promote healthy weight management. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Healthy eating and exercise may seem obvious when it comes to managing menopause and perimenopausal symptoms. However, approaches to this may vary depending on your symptoms and how much they are affecting your daily life.

Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated and unhealthy fats.

To read more about how your diet changes can help manage menopause symptoms, click here.

3. Get enough sleep

During perimenopause, some sleep problems can happen due to night sweats. If you’re not sleeping well, it could also impact your mood.Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.

4. Manage stress 

Stress can worsen perimenopause symptoms. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature. You may also find it helpful to talk to a therapist or counsellor about how to cope with stress. Our Hertility counsellors are trained to support these experiences. 

5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can trigger hot flashes and other perimenopause symptoms. If you’re experiencing hot flashes, it’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol altogether or try to limit your intake to one or two servings per day.

6. Dress in layers

It may sound simple, but this will help stay comfortable during hot flashes. By picking lightweight, breathable fabrics, and wearing layers, you can pivot between outfits as necessary.

7. Use a fan or cool compress

If you’re experiencing a hot flash, try using a fan or cool compress to help you cool down. You can also try placing a cool washcloth on your neck or wrists.

8. Talk to a Hertility menopause specialist or your GP

We offer perimenopause advice and guidance with our Menopause Specialist consultation, and there’s the option of speaking to your doctor too. Our calls are insightful ways to discuss options for perimenopause symptoms.

Perimenopause can be a challenging time, but it doesn’t have to be. By following the above tips, you can manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

Managing the Main Symptoms of Perimenopause 

Here are some additional tips for managing specific perimenopause symptoms:

Hot flashes:

  • Avoid or reduce potential triggers, such as spicy food, caffeine, hot drinks, smoking and alcohol
  • Dress in layers so that you can easily remove clothing as needed.
  • Keep a fan or cool compress on hand to help you cool down.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can trigger hot flashes.
  • Take a cool shower, use a fan or have a cold drink
  • giving up smoking – if you smoke, giving up will help reduce hot flushes as well as your risk of developing serious health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer

Night sweats:

  • Keep your bedroom cool at night
  • Wear loose, cotton pyjamas or night clothes can help you feel cooler than other materials
  • Take a cool shower before bed
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedUse a mattress cover to protect your bedding from sweat

Vaginal dryness:

  • Use lubricants during sex
  • Avoid using harsh soaps or douches in the vaginal area
  • Try over the counter vaginal moisturisers 
  • Your GP can prescribe oestrogen treatment that’s put directly into your vagina as a pessary, cream, gel or vaginal ring.

Mood swings:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

Manage stress:

  • Try relaxing activities like yoga
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Talk to a therapist or counsellor if needed.

References: 

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/benefits-and-risks-of-hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/#:~:text=If%20you’re%20under%2060,who%20will%20help%20you%20decide
  2. https://www.nhsinform.scot/tests-and-treatments/medicines-and-medical-aids/types-of-medicine/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33403881/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12779291/
  5. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23/ifp/chapter/About-this-information
  6. https://www.rcog.org.uk/for-the-public/menopause-and-later-life/hrt-and-alternatives/
  7. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/types-of-hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/
  8. https://www.womens-health-concern.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/03-WHC-FACTSHEET-Complementary-And-Alternative-Therapies-NOV2022-B.pdf
  9. https://www.womens-health-concern.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/11-WHC-FACTSHEET-HRT-BenefitsRisks-NOV2022-B.pdf
  10. https://www.womens-health-concern.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/09-WHC-FACTSHEET-HRT-NOV2022-B.pdf
  11. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/types-of-hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/#:~:text=Taking%20both%20helps%20to%20protect,the%20combined%20HRT%20you%20need.
  12. http://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Hormone-Implants-ML3638.pdf
  13. https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/article/nutrition-advice-for-menopause-how-to-get-the-right-nutrients-vitamins-and-minerals
  14. https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/health-information/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/side-effects-hrt#:~:text=Side%20effects%20include%20weight%20gain,leg%20cramps
  15. https://womensmentalhealth.org/posts/phytoestrogens-and-menopause/
  16. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320630#risks
  17. https://www.balance-menopause.com/menopause-library/the-mirena-coil-or-intrauterine-system-ius-2/
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