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Medcan Women’s Health Forum. Smooth Sailing Through the Stresses of the Sandwich Generation. S mooth S ailing T hrough the Stresses of the Sandwich G eneration. What is Perimenopause ?. The period of time leading up to Menopause

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Medcan women s health forum

Medcan Women’s Health Forum

Smooth Sailing Through the Stresses of the Sandwich Generation

S mooth s ailing t hrough the stresses of the sandwich g eneration
Smooth Sailing Through the Stresses of the Sandwich Generation

What is perimenopause
What is Perimenopause?

  • The period of time leading up to Menopause

  • Menopause= when a woman has not had a period for a period of one year unrelated to pregnancy, body weight or another medical condition

  • Menopause is only ONE day

  • Before=Perimenopause

  • After=Postmenopause

  • During Perimenopause periods tend to get heavier, closer together and then later further apart

  • Perimenopause can last for years

Symptoms of perimenopause
Symptoms of Perimenopause

  • Hot flashes

  • Mood Swings

  • Irregular periods

  • Breast tenderness

  • Worsening PMS

  • Decreased libido

  • Minor Memory Problems

  • Fatigue

  • Vaginal Dryness

  • Urine leakage when coughing, sneezing or laughing

  • Urinary Urgency

  • Difficulty Sleeping

Hot flushes flashes
Hot Flushes/Flashes

  • 2/3’s of women experience

  • Momentary sensation of heat

  • Sweating

  • Fast heart rate

  • May turn red or flush

Treatments for hot flashes
Treatments for Hot Flashes

  • Avoid:

    • Stress

    • Caffeine

    • Alcohol

    • Spicy food

    • Tight clothes

    • Heat

    • Tobacco

  • Supplements and Meds:

    • Vitamin B

    • Vitamin E

    • Ibuprofen

    • SSRI’s

    • Gabapentin

    • Clonidine

    • HRT

Why mood swings4
Why Mood Swings?

  • “PMS” becomes disjointed from the period

  • Fluctuating hormone levels (particularly estrogen) affect mood

  • Stressors that are specific to this time period

  • Lack of sleep and hot flashes contribute

  • Feeling out of control of one’s body and reactions contributes

Life stressors
Life Stressors

  • Elderly parents

  • Kids at home

  • Kids leaving home

  • Men and their mid-life crises

  • Career Issues or Lack of Career Issues

  • The Economy

  • Being “on” 24/7

Otc supplements and herbals
OTC: Supplements and Herbals

  • Calcium 600mg twice a day- PMS

  • Black Cohash

  • Chasteberry

  • Siberian Ginseng

  • USP Progesterone Cream

Prescription medications
Prescription Medications

  • Antidepressants (particularly Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)

  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)

  • Sleep aides

  • Avoid Benzodiazepines

Mindless versus mindful
Mindless versus Mindful



  • Judging

  • Opinionated

  • Thoughts are real

  • Focus on past and future

  • Lost in Reaction

  • Avoidance

  • Reactive Impulsive Behavior


  • Non-judging: Accepting

  • Based on fact

  • Thoughts are mental events

  • Awareness

  • Calm and alert

  • Interested, focused, attentive

  • Focus on NOW


Ways to practice mindfulness
Ways to Practice Mindfulness

  • Unplug!

  • Eating

  • Driving

  • Exercising

  • Sit outside

  • Practice Meditation at a specific time each day

  • Yoga

  • When feeling stressed

  • Hot flashes

Ways to practice acceptance
Ways to Practice Acceptance

  • Practice Letting Go- first with small things then bigger ones

  • Remember that 99% of what goes on with other people has nothing to do with you

  • Stop trying to be perfect. Including with being Mindful.

  • Stay positive- Exercise your brain by finding something positive about everybody and every situation you encounter. Including you!

  • Use positive reinforcement, not negative, with others- you will find it empowers you.

How do you know if need to see a doctor
How Do You Know if Need to See a Doctor?

  • Your mood swings seem extreme and cause you and everyone else distress

  • Your mood is consistently low and is accompanied by hopelessness, lack of enjoyment and changes in sleep, appetite, energy and concentration

  • If you have any thoughts of suicide or wishing you were dead

  • You seems to have continual conflicts with everyone

  • You have physical symptoms that seem extreme or unusual

  • You are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol

Perimenopause hold on for the ride
Perimenopause: Hold on for the Ride!