From Peri - Menopause

The Menopause, often referred to as "The Change of Life". The root of the word Menopause can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, where "Men" referred to month and was connected to the moon and "pauein" meaning to cease or stop, in short, the Menopause means "the ceasing of the monthly cycle". 

The Peri - Menopause can be defined as the time leading up to the Menopause where we experience some but not all symptoms of the Menopause, and we still get a period whereas the Menopause can be defined as a time where no period has occurred for the past twelve months. The physical and hormonal symptoms that occur in the peri - menopause are:
  • Changes in your period (heavier, lighter, irregular), hot flushes, night sweats, changes in mood, fatigue, poor sleep, brain fog, loss of sexual desire, joint pains and muscle aches, hair and skin changes, vaginal and urinary tract issues.
  • Hormonal changes are triggered by your ovaries slowing down and significant fluctuations in the hormone levels: of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone occur and start to drop.
  • You can be in Perimenopause for up to ten years before entering the Menopause. 
  • It most commonly occurs in women in their forties but conditions such as Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) can bring it about earlier. 

How might Psychotherapy help?

Although Perimenopausal symptoms are a natural stage of life, this transitory stage (which can last up to ten years) can be met with trepidation. Tracking your Cycle with a reputable Menopause Cycle Tracking App and consulting a Menopause Specialist will be important at this time. The psychological impact of this stage of life can bring about difficult symptoms such as:
  • Relationship difficulties. 
  • Managing anger.
  • A sense of grief and loss, 
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Fatigue and brain fog. 
  • Previous trauma or unresolved issues from childhood re-surfacing.
  • Existential angst, asking questions like "What is life all about, who am I now?" 
Psychotherapy can be useful in the following ways:
  • Help you to become aware of your Adaptive Survival States: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn and learn how to be-friend them.
  • Providing a dedicated time and space for you to consider new opportunities and possibilities.
  • Assist you in exploring ways to communicate your needs clearly to loved ones, family members and friends. 
  • Bring an awareness to how your body responds to stress, where you can cultivate solutions that alleviate and decrease the amount of time spent in that state.