Times have changed: How to reclaim your power over perimenopause


(BPT) - Expert advice from Eva Beaulieu, M.D., a well-respected internal medicine specialist

As women, we're accustomed to navigating many stages and transitions throughout our lives, each with its own unique joys and challenges. During these stages, it's often easy to default to assuming our experience will be universally the same or similar to our mother's or close friends'. As a physician with over 10 years of experience, I see this expectation rise up most often when treating women entering perimenopause or menopause. Women who believe that because their mom had severe hot flashes and mood swings at age 50, they will have the same symptoms around the same age. Or women who are caught off guard with the transition into perimenopause and are attributing their symptoms to the busyness of their daily lives. But I'm here to set the record straight by sharing steps that can help you take control of your own journey.

  • Know the difference between perimenopause and menopause. It's important to understand that perimenopause and menopause are two distinct stages. Perimenopause is the stage before menopause when ovaries gradually produce less estrogen, leading to irregular periods. Menopause is defined as going 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle and is often oversimplified to experiencing symptoms like hot flashes. However, both perimenopause and menopause involve much more than hot flashes and night sweats and present uncomfortable, life-disruptive symptoms that can exacerbate each other, creating a symptom cycle.

  • Learn more about your symptoms and the solutions available. While some women may sail through these life stages unscathed or experience milder symptoms, others may find perimenopause and menopause makes it more challenging to live their daily life as they battle burdensome symptoms like fatigue, irritability, sleeplessness, as well as increased mood changes, especially heightened anxiety and stress — all related to hormonal changes. Educating yourself about what to expect during these periods is a great way to help set your expectations for symptoms and begin to explore the solutions to address them. To learn more, take this confidential online quiz here.

  • Talk with your doctor about the best solution for you. As an Amberen® Brand Partner, I am excited to talk about a new solution — Amberen® Energy Mood Sleep Gummies, a dietary supplement formulated to address symptoms triggered by hormonal changes occurring during perimenopause and menopause*. The key ingredient in Amberen Energy Mood Sleep Gummies is Pycnogenol®, an extract of French maritime pine bark, which is nature's super ingredient that has antioxidant properties and provides effective relief from common symptoms such as occasional sleeplessness, mood swings, fatigue, hot flashes and night sweats.‡‡ Pycnogenol has been clinically tested and used in health and wellness products for the past 40 years and does not affect estrogen levels. You can also explore Amberen.com to find products formulated to relieve the most common symptoms stemming from perimenopause and menopause.

  • Talk with your friends about it. We're entering a new era for menopausal awareness that is devoid of some of the shame and secrecy our mothers faced when experiencing this life change, but awareness is still low for what to expect or where to find relief. In fact, a recent consumer survey of more than 1,000 U.S. women aged 35-65 revealed that many women may be attributing perimenopausal symptoms to other common challenges they find in their daily lives, especially since symptoms can appear as early as 35 years old. According to this survey:
    • The majority (66%) of women aged 45-54 have been aware they are either perimenopausal or menopausal. However, women under 45 are highly likely to deny they are perimenopausal, with almost half saying they haven't entered this phase yet.
    • Despite this denial, 90% of women have experienced at least one symptom that could be attributed to perimenopause or menopause, and the average woman reports experiencing six symptoms.1
  • Remember that your mother's menopause is not yours, nor can it fully predict your experience. While some symptoms are hereditary, you only have 50% of your mother's genes. Factors like your environment, physical and mental health and lifestyle play a role in perimenopause and menopause. Fortunately, there has been so much research and innovation since your mom went through menopause, and now, more than ever, there are options available to treat your symptoms and help you feel like yourself again.

Perimenopause and menopause are natural transitions every woman will experience in her lifetime. But we don't have to "just deal" with it, especially considering the advancements in women's health since our mother's menopause journey. By understanding the changes happening in your body, discussing treatment options with your doctor and adopting strategies to manage symptoms, you can navigate this journey with confidence.

1Flow Strategy conducted the menopausal study on behalf of Amberen using an online omnibus survey of n=1,002 U.S. women ages 35-65. This survey was conducted from January 18 to January 20, 2024.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

‡‡In a clinical trial of perimenopausal women.

Pycnogenol® is a registered trademark of Horphag Research.

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