Experiencing breast tenderness (ouch) or abnormal vaginal bleeding? Changing hormones during perimenopause may lead to rising (and unopposed) estrogen that causes these symptoms.
Popping an ibuprofen can ease breast soreness (and menstrual cramps). You can also sprinkle a little flaxseed (the actual seed, not the oil) onto your morning cereal, on a salad or bake it into a muffin to get some relief, as a study found it relieved pain when taken daily for three months. In fact, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommends considering flaxseed as a first line of treatment for breast tenderness.
If a heavy flow is cramping your style, see your doctor. Depending on your personal health profile, she may recommend birth control pills or hormone therapy. Taking progesterone has been shown to help bridge the perimenopause-menopause transition — and may be preferred to the estrogencontaining options (or synthetic alternatives to progesterone) that were used in hormone replacement therapy decades ago. These were shown to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, clots and stroke. Progesterone, on the other hand, may ease all of your symptoms. radiating. And if that interrupted sleep wasn't enough, what about feeling the heat mid-meeting? It’s professional to fan yourself at the boardroom table, right?
Turn down the heat by turning up a healthy lifestyle. That’s right: being active, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can all help reduce hot flashes and night sweats. How else can you manage things naturally? “Try dressing in layers or wear moisturewicking clothing,” says Pearlman. “At night, sleep with a fan on in the bedroom.” She also recommends black cohosh, a botanical supplement that not only helps relieve hot flashes, but also mood swings, irritability and cramping. Red clover and rhubarb extract may also help cool things down. Ask your doctor what form and dosage would work for you.
Still feeling the heat? Pearlman points to acupuncture. “It helps on the stress side,” she says, “and it may lead to fewer or less intense hot flashes.” It’s also worth investigating hormone therapy and even antidepressants. “Certain antidepressants are effective treatment for a woman who’s flashing,” confirms Pearlman. “Plus, they can help with mood and anxiety.” Your doctor can help you figure out which options are right for you. She says there are also non-hormonal meds available from your doctor that can be very helpful with flashes and other symptoms, typically for women where estrogen is contradicted or to boost the effects of hormone therapy.