woman with hot flashes, perimenopause, menopause, hormones

15 Signs of Perimenopause

Perimenopause is a natural transition – a life stage all menstruating women will face. It happens to us all,
but we don’t discuss it as much as we should! Knowledge is power – the more we know about our
bodies and the changes we face, the better equipped we’ll be to minimize symptoms of perimenopause.
So how do you know when it’s starting for you?

woman with hot flashes, perimenopause, menopause, hormones

Symptoms of Perimenopause
The symptoms of perimenopause are varied and different for every woman. Many women begin the
transition in their 40s, while others start as early as 30. The stage will last months for some, while ot
will take years to reach menopause officially.
The intensity of the symptoms also varies, from slightly bothersome to negatively affecting the quality of
life. Know that you don’t need to suffer! Many life changes, supplements, and treatments are available
to make the transition smoother.

15 signs that can signal perimenopause:

  • Changing periods – One of the most significant indicators of perimenopause is changing periods. Some women will have heavier flow, skip periods, or have irregular cycles. See one of my previous blog posts about Perfect Periods here
  • Hot flashes & night sweats – Many women are hit with heat waves, flushing and sweating, ranging from slight warmth to waking up dripping in sweat.
  • Body & weight changes – Less estrogen can lead to muscle loss and make it challenging to lose weight.
  • Mood changes – Fluctuating hormones can lead to feelings of sadness and irritability. Add insomnia, hot flashes, and heavy periods to that, and who wouldn’t feel upset?
  • Hair growth in odd places – Do you get that one long hair you have to pluck from your chin? With less estrogen and progesterone in your system, androgens rise, leading to hair in unusual places like your face, chest and back.
  • Insomnia – Progesterone affects our sleep, so declining levels can lead to insomnia. Hot flashes, night sweats and anxiety can also wake you up in the middle of the night.
  • Vaginal dryness & painful intercourse – Dropping estrogen levels can lead to thinner, drier vaginal tissue, causing uncomfortable intercourse and declining sexual desire.
  • Fatigue – Feeling drained during the day is another common symptom of perimenopause (although there may be other explanations as well).
  • Body odour changes – Another fun one! Some women report increased body odour as hormones
    fluctuate, thanks to increased testosterone levels.
  • Brittle nails & thinning hair – Estrogen helps our skin and hair retain moisture and signals our bodies to make collagen. When levels drop, it can lead to dry, brittle nails and thinning hair.
  • Migraines – During perimenopause, hormone levels fluctuate intensely, leading to migraines. The good news? Many women find that once they enter menopause, they have fewer migraines!
  • Anxiety & depression – The same hormones that control your cycle also prevent the release of
    serotonin. When those levels fall, it can increase sadness, anxiety, and clinical depression.
  • Urinary changes – Hormonal changes also affect the muscles in your pelvic region. If these weaken, you may have issues with incontinence.
  • Acne & skin changes – Changes and hormonal imbalances mess with our skin’s natural defences, causing problems such as acne, dry skin, rosacea and eczema.

The symptoms of perimenopause don’t sound fun, but you don’t have to suffer! Just because something
is considered ‘normal’ does not mean it is ideal. Underlying issues such as thyroid problems, hormone
imbalance, or insulin resistance can make symptoms worse than they need to be. The more you know
about your body and the changes happening, the better you’ll be able to minimize signs of

If you are struggling with any of these signs, please see your health care provider. If you are looking to work with Dr. Henna, ND for these issues, you can book your initial visit here


You’ve got acne, facial hair, irregular periods, and weight gain. PCOS could be why.

Ever heard of PCOS? You’re looking in the mirror. Who’s that person struggling with chronic acne well past their teens? Is that facial hair again? You check your period app — late again, nothing new. And those extra couple pounds – are they slowly creeping up? The answer may be that you have PCOS.

That is, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is a condition characterized by having at least two of the three following criteria:

  • Androgen excess (this may look like: acne, hair loss, course facial hair growth and insulin resistance)
  • Ovulatory dysregulation (cycles 35 days or longer, but less than 6 months apart, or absent menses for 6-12 months after having a regular period)
  • Polycystic ovaries (an ovary which contains more than 12 follicles on ultrasound) 

Because PCOS influences different systems of the body as an endocrine disorder, it can manifest in different ways. People with PCOS often struggle with fertility, have oily and acne-prone skin, have sugar cravings or “hanger,” and have trouble losing weight. 

The main goals we have as Naturopathic Doctors for individuals with PCOS are to regulate menses and to treat insulin resistance, which thereby balances out the androgen excess. Because PCOS is a multifaceted syndrome, every patient gets treated based on what they individually present with. We focus on diet and lifestyle modifications, herbal support and acupuncture protocols to support the body’s cycle.

If you have PCOS or think you may, let’s work together to get your cycle regular and to improve insulin sensitivity of your cells. If you have not been assessed for PCOS but the above sounds like you, let’s investigate and find the root cause of your symptoms. Click here to book with me.l

– Dr. Henna, ND