Empowering my journey

Finding balance in perimenopause

The evolution of womanhood and taking charge of this transition

15 May 2023
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Finding balance in perimenopause

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By 2025, ‎over 1 billion women*

By 2025, ‎over 1 billion women*

will have entered the phase of life known as perimenopause - a transitional period often dismissed or misunderstood
But the symptoms of perimenopause

But the symptoms of perimenopause

are not widely known, causing confusion and anxiety
From unexpected bouts of anger

From unexpected bouts of anger

to disrupted sleep and heavy periods, ‎the symptoms can be overwhelming

While many women anticipate the end of their menstrual cycle, few are prepared for the journey that leads there. It's time to break the silence and start talking about perimenopause.

Perimenopause is the transition towards menopause, where your ovaries produce fewer hormones and your menstrual cycle becomes erratic and irregular. This stage can begin as early as your mid-30s or as late as your mid-50s, and could even last up to six years. In the past, doctors believed that perimenopause was a slow draining of oestrogen levels until a woman reached the end of her period. They now recognise it as a turbulent process, with hormones bouncing around and causing various physical and mental symptoms.

More women in Singapore are reaching out for support in handling menopausal symptoms, at a time where there are more open discussions about a once-taboo topic.

Dr Ang Seng Bin, who heads the hospital’s Family Medicine Service and Menopause Unit, reports a nearly twofold rise in women experiencing perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms between 2009 and 2019. This rise is likely due to increasing awareness of the condition and its symptoms, which can be managed well!

During perimenopause, your body goes through hormonal changes as it adjusts to the decline in oestrogen levels.

Symptoms can vary, but most women experience at least one of the following:

● Irregular periods
● Hot flashes (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads across your body).
● Sleep problems (insomnia)
● Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
● Urinary urgency
● Mood changes such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and mood swings
● Brain fog (forgetfulness)

Among these symptoms, mood changes and brain fog can be particularly challenging, leaving significant dents in your mental health.

But beyond that, the decrease in oestrogen during this transition can even lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.

Many of you may not be aware, but there are a multitude of treatment options that help you ease the transition through perimenopause!

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) works to stabilise oestrogen levels in the body, alleviating a host of symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and more, in just a few weeks to months. It comes in various forms such as tablets, skin patches, implants, gels, and sprays for the skin, making it a versatile option for women to choose what suits them best.

For those who prefer a more natural approach, several alternative remedies can help mitigate the symptoms of perimenopause.

Herbal remedies
● Soy, for instance, contains plant hormones with an oestrogen-like function, which can help balance hormone levels.
● Red Clover is another natural remedy, which is a source of plant-based oestrogens that can help alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes.
● Flaxseed is effective in balancing female hormones
● Ginseng has been shown to help with sleep problems .

If you are thinking of trying herbal remedies, remember to speak to your doctor first!

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
For centuries, TCM has been used to promote balance and harmony within the body. TCM also offers various remedies that can help alleviate perimenopausal symptoms, including acupuncture and massage techniques.

● Acupuncture aims to restore balance to the body's energy flow, or "Qi." by targeting specific pressure points on the body. This can help reduce hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep disruption.
● Similarly, TCM massage techniques can help improve circulation and promote internal harmony.

Finding the right treatment plan that works for you is key to powering through perimenopause with greater ease and comfort.

Looking after your body and mind is crucial in managing perimenopausal symptoms.

Lifestyle changes such as engaging in physical activity like swimming and hiking improve your physical health and boost your mental well-being too. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can make it easier on your body to restore hormonal balance. Getting enough vitamin D and calcium-rich foods like milk, tofu, and leafy vegetables such as bok choy also helps to support your bone health.

There are also other holistic approaches you can consider exploring!

Kegel exercises, for example, can help to strengthen your pelvic floor, improve intimacy, and reduce leakage. A positive mindset and seeking support from trusted older women provide a sense of comfort and validation during this time of transition. And don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep, as it can significantly improve your overall well-being and help to manage any symptoms that you may be experiencing.

Mid-life is a pivotal time for women, marked by both challenges and opportunities for personal growth and renewal.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's important to carve out time for self-care and find comfort in simple activities like reading, walking, or practising mindfulness. Equally important is also seeking support from others, whether it's through trusted friends and family, counselling, or online communities. Through connection and sharing, we can find validation, inspiration, and a sense of belonging.

Remember, it's never too early or late to get your health insurance matters settled so that you can be fully supported during this time.

Perimenopause can be difficult, but you don't have to go through this alone.

We are here with you on this journey. Find out more below how our health insurance plans can help you.



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