During my time on ‘the road’ (ok seriously, there were few roads involved, my preferred mode of transport across Australian Desert is in an aeroplane!) for The Wellness Collective Regional Tour, it became increasingly apparent that us ladies really don’t have too much of an understanding around hormones and ageing. I thought about it. Is this because we are in denial, happily avoiding the inevitable? Is it because we seriously have no idea OR perhaps it’s because nobody is talking about it. In any case, most of us have very little clue as to what’s about to happen. The blur of the mid thirties until menopause doesn’t seem to get any decent TLC.
Our body’s are certainly cyclic and Chinese Medicine beautifully summarises these cycles for women to come around every eight years or so.
Around 8 years of age: We commence puberty. Young girls begin to show breast buds, there may be changes with cervical fluid as they prepare for the arrival of the period. This doesn’t mean the period arrives at 8. It’s set to show up somewhere between 11 – 14 as an average.
By 16 years of age: The menstrual cycle is establishing itself (yes it’s normal for it to be irregular, right up until a women is 18 – 20), we go through a period of more hormone changes marked by weight gain (all normal) and possibly some pretty impressive emotions to match. Good news is, this is just a phase. Phew.
From 24 years of age: We hit the prime of our fertility. We’re baby ready, our cycles are regular, we feel good, generally. Although modern lifestyle may encroach, things are mostly dandy.
From 32 years of age: Ok here is where you do not shoot the messenger. We are still very fertile and generally we have a better understanding of our hormones and cycles. From our mid thirties, our hormones begin to change (again). We begin peri-menopause.
But then what? It’s like a slab of our hormone cycles go awry. What happens from our 30’s to our 50’s? It’s not a huge block of nothingness. Things keep on changing. Is it that we’re too busy with babies, careers, soccer practice and getting one last mouthful of broccoli into your 9 year old? You must know, your cycles keep on and understanding this may just be the key to your sanity over the next little (or long) while.
As our hormones begin to fall, we may notice to see signs of ageing. We’re damn good at trying to superficially prevent it. But maybe, if we can begin to understand what is happening on a deeper level, we can indeed begin to slow down the biological clock, gently support ageing and stop fearing the worst.
From our mid 30’s: Our periods are still regular but you might notice that the length of your period begins to change. You’ll begin to see shorter periods (hallelujah!), perhaps 3 days instead of 5 or 6. NORMAL! This is all because of the changes we begin to experience of our FSH levels and another hormone inhibit b. You might notice also an increase of breast tenderness, an increase of emotions, PMS and mood swings, fluid retention and weight gain. Problem is, these symptoms can be accepted as a result of just being overworked and tired. Trick is all about hormone balance.
The next phase we move into, somewhere around our 40’s: You might notice your bleeding begins to get heavier, you might be experiencing flooding and increased pain. There might even be the odd cycle missed. The most noticeable thing is night sweats which are typically worse pre-period. Again. Normal signs, although they can be attended to with a little TLC too.
“NEXT CYCLE UP” from around 48: The periods may become a little all over the place. You might find you get caught out without a tampon (story of my life) because the cycles could be long or short or whatever they darn well like. The sweats may increase, your brain may feel a little more foggy and you may even see other niggly issues like recurrent UTI’s (urinary tract infections) or candida. You’ll still see that your symptoms however are in line with you cycles, that is your sweats are still worse pre-period, you’re not yet at a point where they are “hot flashes.”
From our mid 50’s: We see things switch up. The cycles are sporadic and becoming less frequent, the hot flushes are definitely about and at anytime of the cycle. Oestrogen is on the down (finally! hoorah!)
Menopause: Marked as the final period and with out a period for one year. This is menopause. You might find yourself feeling like you have PMS with cramps to match but there is no sign of a period. The hormones are changing (for the better!)
The best news is, the more you can have your body and your hormones in balance throughout every stage and age of life, the better your will feel. The trick is all in leading your body towards this happy, homeostatic state each and every day, something I was able to dig deep into during this months LIVE call as part of The Wellness Collective Membership. We went into detail around the stages we are all heading into and what we can do to begin to etch out our own path to wellness. That’s not all that is on offer as part of the membership. It’s all about community. Women coming together to support, nurture and guide through each of the ages and stages of life. What a winning combo!
The Wellness Collective Membership is currently yours to try for JUST $1 for 7 days. Of course it’s worth far more, but I want you to try it on! To see how it can make the world of difference to your health each and every month.
If you’d like to learn more, if this topic is something you definitely need to dig into, I’ve got more for you! Come find us in the membership where all the magic happens, come meet hundreds of other women who are keen to support you too! We are all in this together, no more suffering in silence, just good, wholesome support. I love hanging out with you in there. Let’s balance those hormones once and for all!