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Article: 6 Essential Things Women Over 40 Should Know About Navigating Perimenopause.

6 Essential Things Women Over 40 Should Know About Navigating Perimenopause.

6 Essential Things Women Over 40 Should Know About Navigating Perimenopause.

There is a lot of information now newly available on Menopause, but what are the key things we really should know to be prepared and identify when it may be starting, and what to do then? If we can understand what's happening in our bodies and make some life adjustments this transition can be very positive.
  1. MOOD is the first thing to change.
The first reproductive hormone to reduce it's levels in the body in midlife is Progesterone. This hormone is associated with mood, sleep and calming. So mood symptoms could be irritability, and anger, or changing to tears and low mood.
It is following the start of the Progesterone decline that Oestrogen can start to fluctuate and other physical, psychological and cognitive symptoms can start to occur, which can fall into the 9 areas: Brain Fog, Anxiety, Hot flushes, Headaches, Muscles Aches, Sexual Health, Skin & Hair, Mood and Sleep. It is common that these symptoms may seem unconnected, but if you can notice your mood, you can be aware and start to link symptoms that follow. This will lead to easier and quicker identification and empower women to treat symptoms, not suffer and doubt their experience.
  1. MIRENA COIL provides progesterone, reduces periods and provides contraception.

The Mirena Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a form of contraception however it is particularly helpful for women in their 40s for not only contraception, but also to help manage periods and provide a small amount of Progesterone which can help in the earliest stages of the transition. In our 40s our periods tend to change; more emotional, more unpredictable, heavier, longer. It's different for each woman. The Mirena Coil can stabilise this gradual reduction in the number of bleeding days and the amount of blood loss each month. It works by thickening the mucus in the cervix. This prevents sperm from reaching the eggs that ovaries release. It also makes the uterine walls thinner, which partially suppresses ovulation for some women. With the Mirena Coil, a significant number of women may have very light or no periods at all. So let's list the benefits;

  • Helps control heavy periods, and majority of women have no period at all
  • Releases Progesterone when it is declining in your body
  • Works with Oestrogen HRT to provide a balance approach
  • Five years contraceptive cover
Like anything, it won't work for everyone, but the benefits are experienced by many women in their 40s in the UK. Provided and fitted for free on the NHS, however this may take 10-14 weeks from initiating a request. Or the Mirena Coil can be fitted privately, for example through HCA Healthcare or Nuffield Health.
  1. SUPPLEMENTS in midlife, can help support our bodies physically and emotionally. 

Gen X and Millennials may be more sceptical than Gen Z about the power of supplements however it can’t be denied that over the age of 40 we aren't able to absorb as much nutrients from our food as we did when we were younger, couple this with the fact that farming production has changed in the past 20 years resulting in generally less nutrients in our food, and we realise we need to be more specific about what our body needs. As our reproductive hormones decrease women need to counter this with ensuring our bodies are getting the right amount of nutrients to balance the changes. The four key vitamins to support the female body at this time are Vitamin D (immune support, especially in winter months), Vitamin B Complex (energy and hormone support), Magnesium (nervous system), and Ashwagandha KSM-66® (invigorates) Be careful when selecting a brand and ensure you have checked the vitamin content, fillers and absorption companions. Try Midst 40s Starter VIT KITwith carefully selected brands which offer optimum vitamin content and absorption for women in their 40s.

Other supplements like Collagen, Gingko Biloba, Astralagus and more useful for specific symptoms.

  1. EXERCISE - Learn something new for body and mind.
Exercise releases endorphins, which improves mood and make you feel good for hours. The quality of life, cognitive function, depression, sleep patterns, weariness, bone density, weight maintenance, and cardiovascular disease may all be improved by regular exercise.
The same exercise you relied on in your 20s and 30s may not have the same effect, or be enough, in midlife. Cardio is useful for fitness but building in strength training is required as muscles aren't getting the lubrication from Oestrogen.
Our advice is learn something new; the physical and mental impact of change will be beneficial. This can be anything from swimming, pilates, dancing, to HIIT exercises, weight training, or Tai Chi. Something you've always wanted to do.
  1. SKIN - protect and repair.
If you are going to put anything on your face in the morning, make it SPF 50. As we age, our skin tends to become thinner, drier, and lose elasticity. This is primarily caused by fluctuating hormone levels and changes in skin pH. The thinning of the skin can be attributed to a combination of factors such as reduced collagen production, decreased skin thickness, and a decline in oestrogen levels, which leads to a natural slowdown in cell turnover and a decrease in humectants. Therefore, it is essential to modify our skincare routine to cater to these changes during midlife.
Here are some helpful tips for skincare in midlife:
  • PROTECT - Make it a habit to wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 every day.
  • REPAIR - Incorporate retinoids into your nighttime skincare routine. Apply a retinol-based product before bed.
  • BOOST  elasticity - Consider using skincare products containing peptides, as they can help enhance the elasticity of your skin.
  • EASE  dryness - Opt for a rich moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin to combat dryness.
  • CLEAN - Use cleansers enriched with salicylic acid to effectively cleanse your skin.
Some great midlife brands include Medik8, and La Roche Possay.
  1. Invest in managing STRESS

When we encounter a stressful situation our body's protective response is to produce stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, to speed up the heart rate and send blood to the muscles to galvanise the body. If this response prolongs, our body is pushing blood to the muscles and not to the immune, digestive and reproductive systems. Therefore prolonged reaction to stress can lead to the dysfunction of these systems as well as cause hormonal weight gain as the adrenals can't produce enough oestrogen to balance, so they start to store food as abdominal fat.
If we can be aware of this in our early 40s and make adjustments to balance our stress we can ensure our bodies are working efficiently, as they should.
Maybe it's building stress relief and relaxation into our daily routines. One method is stimulation of the vagus nerve - the body’s control hub for our mood, heart rate, and digestion. See Sensate a tech device developed to do just this, with 10 minute daily sessions, improving sleep, wellbeing and mood.

Midst, Midlife Simplified.  Understand it, keep it simple, and find options and solutions for you.

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