Perimenopause: The Second Puberty and Its Temporary Nature

 Perimenopause: The Second Puberty and Its Temporary Nature

What is really going on?

Perimenopause, often called “the second puberty” by holistic doctors, is the phase that spans two to ten years before a woman’s final menstrual period. Unlike menopause or postmenopause—which begins one year after the last period—perimenopause is marked by a series of temporary symptoms and hormonal changes.

 Understanding Perimenopause

Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but perimenopausal symptoms can appear as early as the late 30s. According to Lara Briden, N.D., “Perimenopause is not about aging. Instead, perimenopause is a sequence of hormonal events and changes that are more akin to puberty or a second puberty.” This period signifies an important recalibration of the hormonal and nervous systems.

The Genetic Timing of Menopause

The onset of menopause is largely influenced by genetics. My interest in this topic was sparked by my mother, who experienced menopause at 41. While genetic predisposition plays a significant role in early menopause, it does not indicate that you are aging more rapidly than your peers.

 The Hormonal Changes of Perimenopause

Perimenopause involves several key hormonal changes:

1. Progesterone Decline: The first significant change is a drop in progesterone due to shorter luteal phases. Despite regular periods, this decline can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, heavy periods, migraines, and breast pain.

2. Estrogen Surge: As progesterone levels fall, estrogen levels can spike to three times the normal amount. This surge contributes to irritability, breast pain, and heavy periods.

3. Post-Menopausal Hormone Levels: In the years following menopause, estrogen levels decrease, leading to a phase with lower estrogen and minimal progesterone. The ovaries cease producing progesterone, leaving the adrenal glands to produce it in small amounts.

 The Importance of Progesterone

Perimenopausal symptoms stem largely from a decrease in progesterone rather than estrogen. Maintaining adequate progesterone levels during the menstrual cycle is crucial for easing into this life phase.

Reflecting on our teenage years, marked by high estrogen and low progesterone levels, we often experienced irregular or heavy periods—our first puberty(perimenopause is similar to the years leading upto our puberty). Perimenopause is another temporary phase where managing progesterone levels is key. Regular ovulation is essential for producing sufficient progesterone.

Looking Ahead

Stay tuned for the next blog post, where I will suggest natural ways to support and boost progesterone production to help navigate through perimenopause smoothly.

Stay healthy,




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