June 17, 2004
What Happens During Perimenopause
This regular, predictable pattern of hormonal ebb
and flow begins to change dramatically during perimenopause. During
this time, your ovaries, and in fact your entire reproductive system,
begin to go through the normal aging process leading up to menopause.
Four things happen simultaneously. Your ovaries
age and shrink, they are less responsive to the hypothalmic-pituitary
signals, you have fewer eggs to mature, and the ones you have left
are older and less healthy.
If a follicle doesn’t mature enough to allow an
egg to be expelled from the ovary, the second half of the cycle
never clicks in and progesterone production doesn’t occur, causing
estrogen production to be high or low or even fluctuate from month
To bring the hormonal cycle back into balance,
the brain’s triggering signals increase as much as ten-fold, trying
to stimulate ovulation. During the later stages of perimenopause,
this becomes more and more difficult to achieve. In fact, by the
end of perimenopause, you may be ovulating only three or four times
You can also suffer from periods of heavy, irregular
bleeding when the uterus sloughs off a lining that has been thickened
by too much estrogen. Fibroid tumors may grow larger and bleed more
heavily. Endometriosis pain may worsen, and ovarian and breast cysts
may appear, all due to the shift toward estrogen dominance.
Some lucky womenabout 10 percentmake
this transition easily. They simply have fewer and fewer periods,
mild to no symptoms, a couple of hot flashes and their periods stop.
In my own practice, I often see this pattern in women who are already
on a strong preventive nutritional program.
But frankly, doctors don’t usually see this
healthy transition. Most of the time, we see women who are suffering
from health problems due to estrogen/progesterone imbalances.
Read More on Perimenopause:
Quiz: Is it Menopause or Perimenopause
Estrogen and Progesterone Are Normally
Checklist for Estrogen Dominance
Keep it SIMPLE Tip Acupressure for Insomnia
Diet for Combating Estrogen Dominance
Nutritional Supplements for Estrogen
Nutritional Supplements to Promote Progesterone
Other Power Supplements for Perimenopause
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