common perimenopause symptoms

Perimenopause is a new term that has evolved, and it refers to the transitional time of going from regular menstruation to menopause (no periods).

During this time, which can last as long as 10 years, the woman fluctuates between getting regular periods, having no periods for months, having periods every two weeks or a non-stop period for several weeks. Basically, her periods can be all over the map.

On top of dealing with a completely unpredictable menstrual cycle, she can have PMS symptoms, as well as the symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats. Oh, joy!

Women in this category should be in their late forties, but unfortunately in today’s world many women are going into peri-menopause well before then, even in their thirties.


I was in my early 30’s and it was a nightmare.

At times, I thought I was going to bleed to death.  I would get a period every day for a month and then it would stop for two weeks and then the flow would be so heavy that I would have to roll up my daughter’s cloth diapers to use as a pad as there wasn’t a combination tampon and pad that could hold all the blood I was losing.

When the bleeding would stop, I would get the symptoms of menopause, particularly the hot flashes/night sweats and the vaginal dryness.

I longed for Menopause, but be careful what you wish for. If you do not resolve your perimenopausal symptoms, your menopausal symptoms will be just as bad.


To understand what is happening, I need to explain what is happening in PMS.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to physical and/or emotional symptoms occurring in the two weeks leading up to your period.  Not every woman gets PMS and for those that do, the symptoms vary from woman to woman.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Acne
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Appetite changes or cravings
  • Feeling tired (especially midafternoon)
  • Headache or backache
  • Irregular or short menstrual cycles
  • Irritability
  • Joint or muscle pain.
  • Sore, tender or swollen breasts
  • Tension, moodiness, or crying spells
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble with concentration or memory
  • Upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
  • Water retention

I include the following in the PMS category because the underlying cause for these issues is the same as it is for PMS.

  • Endometriosis (uterine lining growth outside of the uterine cavity)
  • Heavy periods with or without blood clots
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Painful periods
  • Fibrocystic breasts


Most symptoms relate back to Estrogen Dominance, a phrase coined by Dr. John Lee who pioneered all the research on bio-identical progesterone that is still valid today.


estrogen dominance

In a hormonally balanced woman, both estrogen and progesterone levels are relatively low during the menstrual period. Immediately following the period, estrogen levels rise quite rapidly and dramatically, peaking at ovulation.

It is this higher level of estrogen that stimulates the production of your uterine lining (endometrium) in preparation for conception.

Progesterone, on the other hand, stays relatively low during the first half of the cycle and it peaks after ovulation occurs. Ovulation triggers the release of progesterone into the body.

For the second phase of the cycle, from ovulation to the next period, progesterone should dominate over estrogen. Progesterone plays a vital role in making the endometrium receptive to implantation of a fertilized egg.

When conception does not occur, both estrogen and progesterone drop, causing the uterine lining to shed, which is the bleeding that is experienced when a woman gets her period. The entire cycle then repeats itself.

what should menstrual cycle look like


In the second half of the menstrual cycle, from ovulation to period, today’s woman either doesn’t produce enough progesterone OR has elevated levels of estrogen in relationship to her progesterone.

what typical menstrual cycle looks like

It doesn’t matter which one you have, progesterone deficiency or estrogen excess, the actual discrepancy between the two (estrogen and progesterone) is referred to as “estrogen dominance.”


In perimenopause, you don’t necessarily ovulate every month.  When you don’t ovulate, you don’t produce progesterone.  If you aren’t ovulating, you aren’t producing progesterone and without progesterone, you will be exceptionally estrogen dominant.

Therefore, in perimenopause either the symptoms you have been experiencing start getting worse or you start getting new symptoms that you never had previously.

In the perimenopausal stage, there are also times when the estrogen levels temporarily plummet and this is when those annoying menopausal symptoms show up (like hot flashes and vaginal dryness).


The focus will be on lowering your estrogen and raising your progesterone. To do this, you need to correct the cause of your estrogen dominance.

Each woman is different, but thankfully there is a generalized program that will start giving you some immediate results.

I also recommend these TWO OTHER IMPORTANT STEPS

  1. Fine tune your program by following the guidelines mapped out in my book “Get Off the PMS and Perimenopausal Roller Coaster, Learn 9 Natural Fast Track Solutions to Balanced Hormones”. Easy to read and convenient to refer to repeatedly through all stages of life. Purchase HERE
  2. Add B5 Synergistic (pantothenic acid) and/or Wild Yam to your program. This will help support your adrenal glands to supply your back-up estrogen when you plummet. You can find these supplements HERE

OPTION A: If you have mild to moderate symptoms I recommend the PMS and PerimenopauseFast Track Foundation” Package with B6 found HERE

Your program would look like this:

After Breakfast or Lunch

1 Total Health Pack

1 (mild) or 2 (moderate) caps of Synergistic Vitamin B6 from ovulation to period

1,000 mg of Synergistic B5 (pantothenic acid) and/or 2 wild yam **optional for adrenal support

Before Bed

3 (+/-) Magnesium Citrate with L-Taurine

OPTION B: However, if you have any of the following more serious symptoms, then I recommend the Severe PMS and Perimenopause “Fast Track Foundation” Package with I-3-C found HERE

  • Excessive Menstrual Bleeding
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Fibroids
  • Increased Weight Gain Around Your Middle
  • Endometriosis
  • Painful periods
  • Fibrocystic breasts

Your program would look like this:

After Breakfast or Lunch

  • 1 Total Health Pack
  • 1 I-3-C
  • 1,000 mg of Synergistic B5 (pantothenic acid) and/or 2 wild yam **optional for adrenal support

After dinner

  • 1 I-3-C

Before Bed

  • 3 (+/-) Magnesium Citrate with L-Taurine


You’ll learn more about these products and how they apply to PMS and Perimenopause specifically in my book “Get Off the PMS and Perimenopausal Roller Coaster, Learn 9 Natural Fast Track Solutions to Balanced Hormones” HERE

  • Norwegian Kelp
  • L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP (either can help raise serotonin levels)
  • Candida Package (GO HERE to find out if Candida is an issue for you) LINK to the great masquerader article under Health Solutions
  • Adrenal Rejuvenation Supplements (for more details GO HERE)
  • Milk Thistle
  • Liver with Milk Thistle

Purchase your PMS or Perimenopause Package to get started on recovering your energy and vibrancy now, GO HERE


(For More Details Go HERE)

  1. Drink ½ ounce of purified water per pound of body weight daily.
  2. Eat 2 cups of vegetables daily, not including lettuce, potato, peas, corn and mushrooms. You can eat them; they just don’t count.
  3. Reduce caffeine intake to no more than 16 ounces of organic coffee per day. Zero to 8 ounces is preferable.
  4. Have four to five sugar free days per week.
  5. Find exercise you enjoy, that energizes you and get movement at least 4 times per week.

Information made available through this website is provided for educational or reference purposes only. Nutritional Therapy and/or Coaching is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or cure for any disease, mental or physical, and is not intended as a substitute for regular medical care.

Copyright Brenda Eastwood, RNCP and Megan Boff, RNCP  2016 – How to Survive Perimenopause

Would you like to use this article in your E-zine or website?  You may, if you include this complete write-up with it: Brenda Eastwood is a holistic health expert who specializes in Women’s Health Issues.  Her expertise stems from over 35 years’ experience as a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner.  This includes ongoing research, 17 years running a successful private practice, presenting hundreds of seminars and workshops, as well as coaching clients through her unique online Inner Circle program. Today she is reaching out to even more women through her regular article contributions to HANS (Health Action Magazine) and her book “Get off the PMS and Perimenopausal Roller Coaster, Learn 9 Natural Fast Track Solutions to Balanced Hormones”. For more information on Brenda Eastwood please visit or for information on her Total Health Packs visit