The other P word ahhhgain...


[00:00:00] Okay, so let's talk about perimenopause, right? So, um, you guys don't realize this exactly, but I'm gonna go over a definition. The definition of menopause is a year with no period, okay? One year, no period. That's menopause. Perimenopause is the time that leads up to menopause, and it can be up to 10 years. 

Most of us will go through menopause at 51, which means that by definit. If you go through menopausal 51, 10 years before, 51 is 41, which means for some women, even 40 premenopausal is a little bit of a confusing, um, topic because premenopausal just means anyone before menopause. Like my daughter who's nine is premenopausal. 

Um, so anyone before menopause is premenopausal, and we really only use that term mostly when we're talking about things like, did she have breast cancer? God forbid, premenopause or postmenopausally as a way to differentiate risk factors. So don't think in. Premenopause. So a lot of you guys will come into me and say, oh, I'm in my forties and I think I'm premenopausal. 

Yeah, you are cuz you haven't gone through menopause. But what you really mean is, am I [00:01:00] perimenopausal? And in a nutshell, you can't test for perimenopause. There's no test. All you can really do is say, tell me your symptoms. If you're telling me you have any variety of hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, ovulation painting, um, irregular periods of any variety, heavier, lighter, longer, shorter. 

You've missed 'em for a couple months, then all of a sudden you got 'em every other day. I mean, literally any variety of period irregularities can be signs with perimenopause if you are anytime in your forties. Is that bad? No. You guys come to me like, please don't tell me I'm in perimenopause. And I'm like, well, I'm gonna tell you're in perimenopause. 

If you tell me any one of those symptoms, sleep disturbances. Mood, like I wanna kill my family before my period. These are all pering menopausal. And is it bad? No. Does it mean you're shrinking and you're old? No, it's natural. It's normal. Now, that doesn't mean we can't treat the symptoms. So if you have symptoms that bother you, tell me. 

We're a gynecologist. We can treat them kind of holistically with sometimes changes in your nutrition or supplements or vitamins or acupuncture. We can treat them aggressively medically with [00:02:00] hormones like birth control. Pills are safe for women in their forties as long as they're not smoking and. Don't have other risk factors, and sometimes it's the easiest way to control all those symptoms. 

So there are things you can do, ladies, that's why I jokingly call the other P word, because you guys think it's so verbot and terrible and it's really not. Okay. So that is the P word in a nutshell. Nothing bad, nothing dangerous, and not abnormal, and not irregular and not a natural. It's just that time that leads up to menopause and it can last up to 10 years. 

And again, there's no blood test. So the most important thing I tell patients is let me disprove anything else that could be causing, for example, heavy irregular periods or missed periods. Like if you have missed periods, I wanna make sure your thyroid's okay if you have heavy irregular periods. I wanna make sure your thyroid's okay and I wanna check. 

Your uterine lining to make sure there's nothing growing in there that shouldn't be short of disproving Those things, I can't prove perimenopause. There's no blood tests, so when you go in saying, check my hormones to your doctor, they might do it just cuz it's easier than explaining what I just did. But it is not gonna help you because those changes are on and off, [00:03:00] on and off, up and down, and they will change every day and every week and every month during that stretch of perimenopause in an unpredictable way. 

Okay, hope that helps. Bye.