Today is World Menopause Day. We think it’s marvellous that the conversation surrounding menopause is changing and confidence is growing. We believe that early awareness of perimenopause and menopause are key to helping breaking down stigma and enable people to seek help and support early in order to live healthy, happy lives.

But it’s early days and old perceptions can still hold a lot of weight. For example, what do you picture when someone mentions the word ‘menopause’? Well, we keep it under wraps for a start, we don’t like to talk about this sort of thing… periods suddenly stopping, hot flashes in the midst of winter, night sweats, someone much older? Pretty dramatic and certainly not something that will be relevant to you any time soon!

Yes, getting to the menopause, for most of us, will take a little time to get to, the average age of a women reaching menopause in the UK is 52/53, but the lead up to menopause has a name and is a real phase of life. It’s called Perimenopause and it is accompanied by a whole host of symptoms you may or may not experience, but it’s important to be aware of.

Perimenopause can begin up to 10 + years before you menopause day – and Menopause is just one day, it’s the day after you have gone 12 months without a period. The next day you are officially in post-menopause. So perimenopause can start in you late 30s early 40s – who knew?!

During this time you’re body starts to decrease the amount of oestrogen it produces – but it doesn’t do this in a smooth way, it oscillates dramatically, so your levels of oestrogen could be great one day, low the next. And oestrogen is so important to the health of our bones, brain, metabolism and energy levels (to name just a few things), which is why a fluctuation in levels contributes to the symptoms you may be experiencing – achy joints, lethargy, brain fog…

The tricky thing about Perimenopause is identifying whether you are in it or not! We now know this phase can begin in our late thirties/early forties, but with our busy lifestyles and in some cases starting a family older, mean that we are maxed out, stressed, on the go, morning, noon and night, it’s hard to know what symptoms relate to perimenopause and what are brought on by a hectic lives.

It’s easy to assign our terrible headaches, anxiety, disrupted sleep, achy joints, weight gain, breakouts, thinning hair and roller-coaster emotions down to stress, work, kids, lockdown, and life in general. And without knowledge of perimenopause and it’s symptoms, how are you meant to know, and do anything about it?!

The first signs of perimenopause as your oestrogen level begin to fluctuate, tend to surface as irritability, mood-swings, irregular periods, and anxiety, which can be exhausting to manage on top of an already busy lifestyle. Generally, the closer you get to menopause the more symptoms you might experience including difficulty sleeping, anxiety, low libido, weight gain, thinning hair and the infamous hot flashes. Symptoms may become more noticeable post-menopause.

For some, symptoms become debilitating, and others sail through with hardly any symptoms at all. But it’s important to note, whether you experience symptoms or not, changes WILL be happening on the inside, and early awareness and intervention through simply lifestyle changes can help to protect your bone health, mental health and general wellbeing.

The good news is there’s a lot we can do to help ourselves and to support ourselves and our friends, family, and colleagues. Stop and listen to your body, what makes you feel better or worse? There are some very simple, but often neglected, areas of self-care we should all embrace:

  • Get regular exercise and get outside with nature; exercising outdoors increases the production of endorphins. Like serotonin, these neurotransmitters are mood boosters which leave you feeling calm and clear-headed. Load-bearing exercises such as Pilates and yoga are excellent for helping with bone and muscle strength.

  • Manage stress. Don’t let stress creep up on you until the point it becomes unbearable. Give yourself space to try some simple techniques such as guided imagery – taking you to a happy place, meditation, deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, yoga or even a hug from a loved one or pet

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. In the short term they may feel like a quick fix. Enjoy them, of course, but stick to your limits

  • Get enough sleep. Be sure to get to bed at a reasonable time and turn those screens off. Blue light, emitted by devices, can suppress the secretion of melatonin making a sound night’s sleep harder to come by

  • Upping your Vitamin D and calcium through diet and exercise

  • Talk to your doctor. If symptoms of menopause are overwhelming, medication can help. HRT has come on leaps and bounds in the past few decades and is making a real difference to people’s lives. Dr. Louise Newson is a menopause expert, her website and ‘Balance’ app are a great resource for those wanting to find out more about HRT. Click here to find out more

  • Dr. Charlotte Gooding and the Menopause Care team are experts in menopause and can provide a wealth of information and support. Find them on Instagram here @menopause_care or click here for their website

Bear in mind that Menopause is just a stage of life, not necessarily better or worse than any other stage, the sooner we understand it and take control, we are in a much better position to take care of our mind and body and get the most out of life.

The Blend was created to help physically through beautiful aromatherapy products designed to help alongside your other peri-toolkit staples. AND to be a platform to raise awareness of perimenopause, so you can take control of your lives, live healthy and happy.

The Blend is here to support and help you feel calmer and prepared for what comes next, together we’ve got this.

We want to share the love with you this World Menopause Day by giving you 20% off our oils! Simply enter code: WORLDMENO20 at check out to receive your discount. We hope you love our blends.

Love Trudie & Vicky

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