If you're going through menopause, it can be that your period, which may have been running like clockwork for your entire life, is no longer occurring as expected. Most women aren't aware of the reason for irregular periods during menopause. Learning more about why this occurs and what you can do about it is the first step towards finding relief.
Keep reading for information on how natural hormones impact menstrual regularity during menopause.
About Natural Hormones
Do you ever wonder how the parts of your body communicate? Natural hormones are behind many of the processes that keep your body functioning. For women, these functions can become problematic during menopause because the levels of two hormones — estrogen and progesterone — begin to gradually decline. When levels of these hormones are thrown off balance, they can cause a host of symptoms, from hot flashes and mood swings to irregular periods.
Will Controlling My Hormones Help Control My Irregular Periods?
As menopause involves the gradual ending of menstruation, avoiding the experience of irregular periods during this time is virtually impossible. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the transition smoother and less bothersome.
First and foremost, exercising more and improving your diet are important ways to improve hormonal imbalance and overall health. A healthy body also has a healthy endocrine system, which helps to raise your production of important hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Incorporating stress-relieving activities into your lifestyle can also help with hormonal imbalance, and by extension, the symptoms of menopause, including irregular periods.
Another effective treatment method is alternative medicine. Many of these medicines, black cohosh, dong quai, and red clover included, have become increasingly popular in the last two decades. They contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds that are believed to help replace declining levels of estrogen during menopause. This comes as good news for women who want relief from menopausal symptoms. Hormone-regulating supplements can also be effective, and help to avoid unpleasant side effects of phytoestrogens like headaches and joint pain.
Should I See a Doctor?
If irregular periods are especially disruptive or include severe symptoms, it is time to talk to a doctor. A medical professional can help guide you to the appropriate treatment options. In some extreme cases, the benefits of medication and surgery can outweigh the risks.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007