Hi! I’m Dr. Melissa Bedford. I’m here to support you through perimenopause.
Dr. Melissa Bedford
Individualized Naturopathic Care for Perimenopause
There is a common misconception that all of a sudden one day you become menopausal – you were premenopausal and then just like that, you’re in menopause. The reality is that your body goes through a menopausal transition – perimenopause – over the 4-8 years prior to officially reaching menopause.
Perimenopause can be a very challenging time for many menstruating people, because the production of estrogen and progesterone in these years is erratic and ever-changing.
I have dedicated myself to learning as much as I can about perimenopause so that I can provide you with the best possible care.
5 Things You Should Know About Perimenopause
1. From a physiological perspective…
This is neither a time of relatively predictable hormone production (like the reproductive years) nor a time of explicitly low hormone production (like the postmenopausal years). It is a completely unique hormonal experience.
2. From a public health perspective…
Perimenopause is not talked about nearly enough. Many menstruating people in their 40s have never heard of perimenopause, even while they are going through it themselves. You may not have a clue what to expect during this transition – you deserve this knowledge.
3. From a symptom perspective…
Perimenopause can have a significant impact on quality of life. It can feel overwhelming. It can feel like things are out of your control. You may feel rocky and unsettled, and when you understand that your hormone production is haphazard during these years you can have greater compassion for the way you are feeling.
4. From a treatment perspective…
This is not a black and white, hormone replacement therapy or no hormone replacement therapy conversation. There are so many options ranging from lifestyle to nutrition to botanical medicine to acupuncture to pharmaceuticals. Like with any condition, there is no one perfect treatment that will work for everyone but please know that you do not need to go through perimenopause alone or unsupported.
5. From a preventative perspective…
Perimenopause is the perfect opportunity to discuss important health screening and create a plan to mitigate cardiovascular disease risk, bone loss, changes in body composition, and cognitive decline as you move into menopause. It’s also a wonderful time to reflect on your priorities and what you want to cultivate more of in your life.
Common symptoms of perimenopause
Some of the most common symptoms of perimenopause include:
- Menstrual cycle irregularity
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Hot flashes, night sweats
- Insomnia (even in the absence of hot flashes)
- Mood changes such as depression and anxiety
- Brain fog, forgetfulness, difficulty with word retrieval
- Changes in body composition (loss of lean mass and gain of fat mass)
- Vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse
You don’t need to do this alone.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, or you’re simply not feeling like yourself, or you’re wanting to learn more about perimenopause so you can feel empowered heading into your 40s, I encourage you to reach out.
My approach always starts with a thorough assessment to ensure there are no other health conditions mimicking or exacerbating your perimenopause experience. I want to arm you with knowledge about the hormone changes that are occurring so you can understand and have greater compassion for what you’re experiencing. We can then discuss and initiate a treatment plan that is aligned with your values and goals, with checkpoints along the way to ensure you are feeling well-supported.
A good place to start would to learn what a normal period is.
And for additional information on perimenopause, I invite you to read about the hormonal changes and common symptoms of perimenopause as well as the menstrual cycle changes to expect.
For those wanting to know what foods can combat perimenopause, this resource will help you learn about nutrition in perimenopause.