Myths of Perimenopause

by Dr Angela Hunt ND


Debunking common myths about perimenopause:

We use the term menopause to mark the end of hormone production by a woman’s ovaries and the permanent end of her menstrual cycle. Perimenopause precedes menopause, and is characterized by irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings, and various other symptoms related to a decline in ovarian hormone production. Initially, progesterone levels decrease, followed by estrogen. This hormonal shift can make perimenopause symptomatic for many women. Let’s debunk some common myths about perimenopause:

Myth 1: Perimenopause occurs shortly before menopause.

Reality: Perimenopause can begin 5-10 years before menopause, making it a significant period of transition, deserving of our attention and understanding. Women as young as 35 could start experiencing perimenopausal symptoms.


Myth 2: You can’t get pregnant during perimenopause.

Reality: Wrong! Although fertility decreases during perimenopause, it is still definitely possible to become pregnant. Women in their 40s are also more likely to have twins. So if you are not looking to expand your family, contraception is still very important during this time.


Myth 3: Blood work is necessary to confirm perimenopause.

Reality: There is no definitive blood test for perimenopause. Hormone levels, particularly progesterone and estrogen, fluctuate unpredictably during this phase.  Hormone testing is unreliable for confirming perimenopause. While other blood tests such as those for iron, vitamin D, and thyroid function may provide some insight, they do not confirm perimenopause.


Myth 4: Hormonal support or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is not an option in perimenopause.

Reality: Contrary to popular belief, hormonal support, including creams, oral hormones, and intrauterine devices (IUDs), can be beneficial during perimenopause. However, the choice of hormone therapy and its form should be individualized as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Consulting an experienced healthcare provider to navigate these options is crucial for optimal management.


Learn more about perimenopause in Dr. Hunt’s free “Perimenopause 101” virtual workshop, Thursday May 16th, 2024, at 7pm. 


*Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik.

hormones, menopause, women

Dr. Angela Hunt, ND, MSCP

Dr. Angela Hunt is an experienced Naturopathic Doctor and an integral part of the Kingston Integrated Healthcare team since 2015. She maintains a large family practice and treats a variety of health concerns including all aspects of hormone imbalance, autoimmune conditions, digestive concerns, and mental health. She is a Menopause Society Certified Practitioner.


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