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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

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