Menopause Irregular Periods – Understanding your Cycles

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell

Have you ever found yourself in the bathroom and discovered that once again you’ve started your period? Scanning your mental calendar you quickly conclude that your last period was only two weeks ago. What the heck? The one before that was over three months ago. Your frustration with the fact that you JUST HAD YOUR PERIOD TWO WEEKS AGO is only further irritated because you are absolutely unprepared. Not one single supply in your purse. Great! Now you have to stuff toilet paper into your “unmentionables” and find the first exit leading home, all you can think about is…

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?
BEFORE YOU GET ANXIOUS…
Step back and take a deep breath. Let’s face it; you’re not getting any younger. You need to know that this is normal. Irregular cycles are one of the most common indicators that you are entering the second half of your life.

It is important to understand that your estrogen levels are at their highest during the first part of any given cycle and progesterone levels are at their highest during the second half of the cycle. An imbalance in these hormones will cause fluctuations in your cycles.

For example –

  • Decreased progesterone during the second half of your cycle may cause bleeding to happen earlier, thus causing bleeding to occur more often.
  • The absence of progesterone or estrogen levels, which vary at any given time, may cause very long cycles or to the contrary, skipped or missed cycles.

The irregular cycles that you have been feeling can go on for many years. Sometimes, it only occurs for a few months and then there is a new rhythm that is established and the cycle is regular again.

Here is what you can do to make this transition easier:

BE SENSIBLE:
Keep supplies on your person or in your vehicle at all times. Remember, your cycles are now unpredictable, they can happen anytime, anywhere.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET:
Eat a healthy diet; reduce excess calorie intake, avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugars.

SUPPORT THOSE HORMONES:

Progesterone: An herb called Vitex or ‘chasteberry’ assists the body in its production of progesterone. Some women may opt to take bio-identical progesterone because their cycles have become heavier and longer; which could lead to fatigue, anemia, and a general sense of not feeling well.

Estrogen: Stress reduction and relaxation techniques are key. Taking phytoestrogens (which are commonly found in soy products) can help stabilize your estrogen during this difficult time as well. If all else fails and your symptoms become unmanageable, you may also elect to take bio-identical hormones to replace your estrogen levels so that you can get back to being you.

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