Symptoms and signs of perimenopause can be strong enough that they interfere with the life of many women. When this is the case, a hormone treatment may provide some relief. This usually takes form of as either birth control pills or HRT (hormone-replacement therapy). As long as someone is clearly still ovulating while having perimenopause, doctors will give birth control pills. Those who are having a transition from perimenopause to menopause often get HRT. Women who are treated with birth control pills may switch to HRT when signs of menopause become more evident.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills have developed significantly since early 1960s. Today’s version may contain far less hormones than earlier versions, making it less-risky and produce milder or less side effects. These pills minimize perimenopause symptoms by controlling the ovulation. This restores regularity to your periods and stabilizes hormone levels, which likely ends premenstrual syndrome and perimenopause (mild birth control pills can also be useful for PMS patients who are fail to respond to changes in lifestyle). Monophasic birth control pill is especially useful as it delivers the same amount of progesterone and estrogen throughout the month. You should continue taking the pills until it’s confirmed that you have entered the menopause period, generally in early 50's. It could be difficult for you to know whether you’ve made the transition, since hormones inside the pills may sustain the menstrual cycle while suppressing obvious menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. Some doctors may advise to stop taking birth control pills so you can see whether you'll menstruate without them; your doctor may recommend transitioning directly to HRT based on your conditions.
However, a few women can’t tolerate side-effects of birth control pill. They may experience a variety of side effects that generally resemble premenstrual syndrome. Other women shouldn’t be given birth control pills due to existing health conditions for example high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease, or smoke addiction. Although previously there was concern that these pills increased the chance of getting breast cancer, subsequent studies have resolved that this isn't the case. As a matter of fact, birth control pill may lower the risk for several types of cancer, for example colorectal, endometrial (uterine), and ovarian cancers. Birth control pills can also reduce the likelihood of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), non-cancerous ovarian cysts and osteoporosis. And, of course, these pills can prevent unplanned pregnancy.
During perimenopausal period, your body remains fertile as ovaries still produce viable eggs. If you have delayed pregnancy and plan to get pregnant before menopause, you can still do it. Doctors often consider a perimenopausal woman to be fertile after 12-months without getting a menstruation. Women who have irregular periods or miss one or two menstruation, might still be ovulating. As a matter of fact, if you're sexually active and seem to miss a period it is a good idea to get a pregnancy test.
After a wild ride through perimenopause, you may find menopause to be a relatively easy and quiet transition. Hormone disturbances during perimenopause are usually more extreme and abrupt than during menopause, some women may even experience almost no symptoms. Even as you have fluctuating hormonal levels during menopause, you will get diminishing symptoms.
HRT (hormone-replacement therapy)
Women who are not allowed to use birth control pills due to some medical reasons, may get some relief when using HRT (hormone-replacement therapy) used after menopause. This therapy is less effective compared to the birth control pill due to much lower hormone levels. HRT doesn't affect ovulation, so some symptoms of perimenopausal and PMS may remain as you have a fluctuating hormone level. Additionally, there is no protection against pregnancy when taking HRT.
Perimenopause can last for more than a decade, although most women have 3 to 6 years of perimenopause before moving to menopause. The most troublesome symptoms usually happen when a woman is near the menopause period.
Taking Care of Yourself During Perimenopause
Even in this modern times; most women still spend much of their time as the caregiver in the family. They could raise children, work in office while caring the needs of other family members. This becomes our daily orientation, and often we neglect the needs of ourselves. For many women, perimenopause is a persistent and strong reminder that you should pay attention to your body as well. Eat well and have a brisk walk in the afternoon help you to sleep well at night. Fortunately, for most women the transitions to menopause occur when their children can take care for themselves, some children may even have their own jobs and settled at their own homes.
Keeping Your Body Healthy
Good nutrition and regular exercise are essential at all stages of life, but they're especially important when you're undergoing an aging process. Weight-training exercise is among the best ways to maintain high calcium level. This is important for reducing the risk of osteoporosis, a potentially painful and debilitating condition in which bones become weakened and fragile due to loss of calcium. To improve bone strength, you should also need to do regular resistance training.
Having a higher amount of daily calcium intake is important, as our body’s ability for absorbing calcium is lower as we grow older. Our body becomes less capable at extracting and processing calcium into a chemical compound that keeps our bones stronger, so to compensate, it is necessary to increase the amount of calcium in your diet. Some studies indicate that increased calcium level reduces the premenstrual syndrome symptoms as well.
Staying Comfortable and Calm
If relaxation methods such as yoga or meditation haven't been your habit, perimenopausal period could be an ideal time to start. When hormonal disturbances make you less tolerant and irritable, it becomes harder to manage the usual strains of life. Sometimes a friend or caring partner will gently remind you that you are becoming a little short-tempered and snappy. Try to accept these remarks in the spirit of friendship and kindness. Often, it’s tricky to simultaneously deal with daily routines while noticing your subtle emotional and physical changes.