As you're probably aware, menopause is that phase of a woman's life when her ovaries no longer produce the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Well before then, however, a woman's hormones begin to fluctuate from month to month, often causing many unpleasant symptoms. This process may take from five to 10 years. This is perimenopause.
During this time, even though periods are still occurring, symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, brain fog, and sleep disturbances begin. Yet with periods persisting, most doctors are reluctant to start prescription hormones that would stop these symptoms in days. Furthermore, since her hormonal status fluctuates, she may not need prescription hormones every month. So what's a person to do? At WholeHealthMD, we recommend an integrative approach that delays having to start taking prescription medication and instead relies on nutritional remedies and other self-care measures. Then, as long as you're feeling well, you'll have time to consider if hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is right for you.