If you're a woman in your mid- 40’s you are likely in perimenopause.

Like our bodies, the experience of perimenopause is completely unique to you such as the symptoms you experience, the severity of those symptoms and the length of time you're likely to go through it.

The average age to reach menopause (a point in time that you haven’t had a period for one year) is 51 years of age. Your perimenopausal years may be anything from two - 12 years.

The two hormones that change are estrogen and progesterone as your body transitions out of your fertile years to your next life chapter.

Your perimenopause symptoms are usually thanks to a decrease in progesterone and fluctuating estrogen (until estrogen settles down once it's found its new lower levels).

Behold! Have a look at this: the absolute outrageousness of our hormones during peri:



Okay, So What’s Happening to My Period in Perimenopause?

You might still be having a regular cycle but things just feel different. 

You may notice that your period cycle is longer, shorter, that your bleeding could be heavier or lighter than normal.  You may even begin having menstrual cycles where your ovaries don't release an egg at all (the ovulation stage of menstruation).

You might find your PMS has turned it up a notch, that you have more anxiety, more irritability and greater mood swings than before.  

The reason for the increase in PMS symptoms is the wild and fluctuating estrogen along with a decrease of the calming hormone progesterone (not being released because we may not be ovulating every cycle). With these hormone changes can come a marked increase in our PMS symptoms. 

There are four key stages of perimenoapause.  Here’s how your cycle length might look as you progress through perimenopause:

Stage 1 - Very Early Perimenopause - Cycles are still regular but could be shorter in length, maybe between 21-26 days. 

Stage 2 - Early Menopause Transition - Cycles are starting to be irregular and vary in length up to seven days.

Stage 3 - Late Menopause Transition - You start to miss cycles or have your first cycle that is longer than 60 days.

Stage 4 - Late Perimenopause (the twelve months from your final period) - as an example, you might not have a period for eight months and feel less of the wild fluctuating oestrogen symptoms. Then you might get another period and experience symptoms and then the countdown starts again until you reach 12 months with no period. Annoying. 🙄 

What’s Happening to My Body Shape in Perimenopause?

Your body starts to store fat around your middle instead of your hips so becomes  important to try and maintain your weight, as weight gain around your middle can lead to insulin resistance which can exacerbate your perimenopause symptoms.

Learn more about belly fat and how to try and keep it at bay in perimenopause.

Declining oestrogen is also linked to decreasing muscle mass and bone strength, so it’s a time where you need to make sure you are eating enough protein to keep muscle mass and bone strength up. Also think about introducing weight bearing exercises that build muscle mass. As muscles around our bones protect us from injuries and it’s important for helping maintain our weight.

Collagen Reduces in our Perimenopause Bodies. Why We Need to Supplement!

Studies suggest we start losing 1% a year of collagen in our bodies from the age of 20. This increases in perimenopause and menopause with the falling of oestrogen levels and as part of the natural ageing process. 

Collagen is a protein which is found in the skin, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue of all living animals and most abundant in mammals. It makes the foundations of our bodies, it’s what holds us together. Collagen fibres are in connective tissue that are like pieces of string of all different shapes and sizes that connect our bones together. They stabilise our joints, holding the ends of two bones together. They protect our joints and make sure everything works as it should.

The collagen in our skin is what gives it volume and a youthful appearance. As we age the collagen in our skin breaks down and that’s when we start to see wrinkles and fine lines.

Supplementing with collagen can help to:

It's for all these important reasons, we included collagen, along with magnesium glycinate, in our Peri Chai Latte blend. Find out more here

Early Perimenopause Symptoms

In the very early stages of perimenopause, your cycle can still be regular or it could be shortened to 21-26 days. Professor Jerilynn Prior says that a midlife woman with a regular cycle with three of the nine symptoms below is likely to be in peri:

There are Four Stages of Perimenopause: Which One Are You In?

The four stages of perimenopause are broken down into:

  1. Very Early Perimenopause
  2. Early Menopause Transition
  3. Late Menopause Transition
  4. Late Perimenopause.

Have a squiz at this diagram to see the different stages and what might be happening:


What Are The Most Common Perimenopausal Symptoms?

You could experience one, several or (perish the thought) all of the following perimenopause symptoms:

Wildly fluctuating hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, are the reasons we suffer symptoms in perimenopause.

Approximately 25% of women who experience natural menopause will have severe symptoms. The other 75% are likely to have mild or possibly no symptoms.

Whilst some of these symptoms can impact on the quality of your life, it can really help to remember that perimenopause is temporary. You will emerge on the other side.

Top Tips to Naturally Balance Hormones in Perimenopause

  1. Eat Enough Protein

In peri it’s important to eat protein for soooo many reasons:

  1. To keep up muscle mass
  2. Keep you fuller for longer and
  3. For the maintenance and repair of every cell in your body.

Protein also supplies the essential amino acids needed to build your protein hormones (which play a crucial role in regulating many physiological processes, such as energy metabolism, appetite control and managing stress).

In peri you need to eat 1.2g of protein daily per kg of body weight. So it means incorporating a palm size of protein per meal and include in snacks daily. 

Find out more about the Power of Protein in Perimenopause here.

  1. MOVE

Exercise improves blood flow and aids the hormone receptors to function optimally.

Some studies suggest that it reduces the chances of insulin resistance (likely due to the fact exercise helps to keep you in a healthy weight range, reducing the chances of fat storage around your middle). 

Read more about how exercise can help reduce your perimenopause symptoms here.

  1. Maintain Healthy Weight Range

Obesity is linked to hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance. Remember perimenopause is a time when we start to store fat around our middles not on our hips and thighs (boo!!).  Why is it important?  Because fat storage around our middles can lead to insulin resistance which can lead to Type 2 diabetes - not good! 

Read more here about insulin resistance and how to steer clear of that. 

  1. Focus on Your Gut Health

Our microbiome acts as an endocrine organ and an unbalanced and distressed microbiome can cause either the deficiency or excess of free oestrogen. It also regulates appetite and reduces the chances of insulin resistance.

A focus on good gut health is often overlooked as a way to reduce perimenopause symptoms. Check out our guide here to get started.

  1. Reduce Sugar Intake

Sugar is not your gut's friend and it's definitely not your pal in perimenopause.  Making a concerted effort to reduce your sugar consumption could drastically impact on your symptoms (for the better!).

Be sure to watch out for added sugars, particularly Fructose, which can be found in sauces, salad dressings, sugary drinks, yogurt, baked goods, and fast foods.

A diet high in Fructose is linked to Insulin resistance, disrupting the hormone Leptin (which helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger, which in turn diminishes fat storage in fat cells).  Phew!  There's alot going on in there!

Learn about how to control sugar cravings here. 

  1. Reduce Stress Wherever You Can - Prioritise Relax Time

Ah stress.... this one's a biggie for us lot.

We know well that with our busy lives often juggling households, jobs/careers, finances, kids and their calendars, extended family, stress just feels like an inherent part of existence. 

And whilst yes, when we step back and look at what we're juggling, it's hardly surprising at all that the vast majority of us are completely and utterly wired.

But, even though this time of our lives often comes with increased responsibility and more balls in the air than ever, it's also more important than ever to finally put ourselves on our priority lists. 

It's do or die, ladies (okay, we're turning up the drama here but whatever it takes to get you to rest!).

So: What calms you? What helps you reset? Make a little list of those things and refer to them when you've cleared yourself some alone time just for you.  Maybe have some things you can do if you have a spare 2 minutes, things you can do if you have an hour, things you can if, OMG! you get a WHOLE DAY!

Our bodies produce the hormone cortisol from our adrenal glands in response to dealing with stress.

Once the stress has been dealt with our bodies go back to normal. If we are constantly stressed then we start to release cortisol regularly and we'll experience elevated cortisol levels, which in turn stimulates appetite and makes us reach for sugar and high fat foods.

So, finding time to do things that are chill can have a seriously great impact on our experience of perimenopause symptoms. 

Take time out of your day - every day - for you.

Some suggestions might be:

  • Read
  • Do some yoga
  • Meditate
  • Go outside and stare at a tree, focusing on that one thing and nothing else.
  • Simply breathe
  • NOTE: Regular yoga for perimenopause women shows great results in reducing stress levels and balancing mood symptoms.

Find out more about how to soothe mood swings and anxiety, here.

Magnesium helps to soothe the nervous system including giving you better sleep, reducing anxiety and mood swings.  And it's why we included magnesium glycinate in both our Peri Chai Latte and Peri Hot Choccy Sleep 'n' Soothe


  1. Eat Healthy Fats

Healthy fats help reduce the chance of insulin resistance and keep you fuller for longer.   Aim to have a small portion (the size of your thumb with every meal you eat.

Good fats are found in

  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Olives and
  • Coconuts.

These healthy fats are also called Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and are unique in that they are less likely to be stored in fat tissue and more likely to be taken up directly by your liver for immediate use as energy, promoting increased calorie burning.  Oh yes! We want more of this lot!

  1. Good Sleep

Sleep is a time your body is resting and digesting.

Poor sleep can throw your hormones out of whack causing decrease in the fullness hormones (ghrelin and leptin), increase hunger (ghrelin) and stress hormones (cortisol), and increases the chances of insulin resistance.

Getting good sleep in perimenopause is easier said than done too with many of us experiencing poor and broken sleep.  Read our post here on how to achieve a good nights sleep 

Want better sleep? Check out our Peri Hot Choccy Sleep 'n' Soothe. Formulated by SheBANG!'s Clinical Nutrionist to help perimenopausal women sleep better. 

  1. Eat Enough Fibre

Eating a diet high in fibre is part of a healthy diet and reduces your chances of insulin resistance and releases hormones to tell you that you are full. You also need fibre to feed your good bacteria in your gut, as a happy gut helps balance hormones and reduce peri symptoms.

For good fibre, eat lots of fresh fruit and veg and some whole grains.  We usually try to make sure 3/4 of our plates are filled with veg each meal.

  1. Additional Natural Supports

There are so many different minerals, vitamins and herbal medicines that can aid in the balancing out of perimenopause hormones.

As a Clinical Nutritionist, SheBANG!'s Ange would prescribe depending on your specific needs:

"I would suggest speaking to your health professional to advise what is best for you. If I was to give only one suggestion, it would be Magnesium.

I find that most people are deficient and it's the mineral needed for optimal metabolic function; especially important during perimenopause.

It is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions within our bodies.

Magnesium Glycinate is the best form for peri ladies and is effective in treating peri mood symptoms, hot flashes, improving sleep, preventing insulin resistance and reducing migraines." 

Shop SheBANG!'s magnesium-loaded goodies here.






January 17, 2023 — Angela Greely

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