The Silver Linings of Perimenopause

Lately I’ve been feeling a little bit like I’m going crazy. My anxiety has been elevated and I’ve been on edge about everything. Maybe that’s why when I saw Dr. Kourtney speaking on TikTok, her words about hormones struck me. Could this be what’s making me feel like this? 

It’s common to learn about puberty growing up, but something that I don’t hear much about is perimenopause and the changes women experience during this stage of life. So, I set out on a plan to learn more (and I brought Penn along with me.) 

All About Perimenopause

We invited Dr. Kourtney Sims, M.D. to join our podcast to educate us, and, after our discussion, Penn and I agreed that anyone that is a woman or lives with a woman would benefit from hearing this information

In a nutshell, perimenopause is the time period in a woman’s life where the body is producing less hormones. You know when things ramped up during puberty? Well, this is the opposite. Things are starting to wind down. This hormonal shift creates changes in the body both physically and mentally. 

Perimenopause can be different for everyone, but typically starts for women in their 40s. Once you’ve gone for a year without a period, that’s when you’ve officially reached menopause. There are symptoms many women experience which may include changes in cycles (the most common), weight gain, changes in sex drive, hot flashes, dryness, brain fog, and increased rates of anxiety and depression. While there are symptoms, Dr. Kourtney explains that we don’t need to think of it as something that we must suffer through. 

The Silver Lining

While we typically only hear the dreadful things about menopause, I’m happy to report that there are actually silver linings to this stage of life. For starters, with the reduction of estrogen levels, women’s brains start to become less focused on “mothering” and more aware of what they want for themselves. (Maybe this is the reason I’ve felt so drawn lately to find a new hobby for myself.) Also, you don’t have a period anymore (yay!) AND typically your sex drive increases (double yay!) 

On top of these added benefits, in our podcast discussion, Dr. Kourtney gave us a lot of practical advice on how to mitigate the other, less desirable symptoms. She says that being prepared in advance will help set a woman up for better success going into this phase of life. 

How To Give Support

Having gained this knowledge of what’s happening inside my body has been eye opening (and it was eye-opening for Penn too.) I felt so much better knowing there are reasons why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling lately. Dr. Kourtney also mentioned that menopause takes away a woman’s “filter” which can be hard to navigate at times. 

She explained, “If you notice a lot of snappiness, it might be because she doesn’t feel like she’s getting the support she needs. During this time, women need empathy, support, and space.” When your partner understands what’s going on, it’s easier to give them grace.

I highly encourage you to listen to our conversation below. It will help you and your relationships either now or when the time comes. You can find out more about Dr. Kourtney’s work on her website (and make sure you follow her on TikTok!)