Anti-aging products and articles are all the rage, but they’re almost always focused on outward appearances alone. Worse still, most only touch the surface, while neglecting one of the biggest concerns for many women – the fear that their biological clock might be ticking faster than they realize.
When talking about women’s health, the biological clock specifically refers to the ability to reproduce and the concern that this window of opportunity keeps closing with time. While no one should rush into the act of childbearing, women who are determined to have kids of their own need to pay more attention to their reproductive health and biological clock. After all, premature aging doesn’t just wreak havoc on your skin, but can also affect your ability to conceive.
What Is Perimenopause?
Menopause is to reproduction what wrinkles and greying are to skin and hair. It’s natural and inevitable, but dreaded if it comes early. Unfortunately, premature aging doesn’t just affect your hair and skin, but can also strike down there. This is described as (you guessed it) premature menopause. Whether menopause is premature or timely, it is preceded by perimenopause.
Perimenopause is basically the transition period, wherein estrogen production gradually declines until the ovaries stop releasing eggs altogether. Under normal circumstances, women enter menopause in their early 40s, but it has become more common for women to enter menopause significantly earlier. This is because of a rise in hormonal imbalances due to modern day lifestyle stressors, environmental toxins, and poor nutrition, among other factors.
The perimenopause phase starts 4-8 years before menopause, now commonly affecting women in their 30s. Perimenopause is an important, and far less discussed biological milestone as compared to menopause. During this phase, your pituitary glands make more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) over time to cause you to stop ovulating. While the process is slow, it’s concerning as it is surfacing in younger women.
Perimenopause at a young age adversely impacts fertility and libido, causing problems in your relationship and sex life. However, perimenopause does not surface without warning signs. Recognizing the symptoms of perimenopause can help you plan and prepare for menopause early.
Symptoms Of Premature Aging And Perimenopause
Perimenopause can happen when your body thinks you can’t take care of it anymore. If you are not healthy or concerned about your health, your body will take charge. Here are some common symptoms of perimenopause and premature aging .
- Change in period flow
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Night sweat
- Hot flashes
- Feelings of exhaustion and anxiousness
- Loss of libido
What To Do If Your Biological Clock Is Ticking Too Fast?
It may seem like you’re losing control of your life, but you’re still in the driver’s seat. You simply need to seize control and slow down. Self-care is absolutely vital and the earlier you start the better, because aging can be delayed but it cannot be reversed. Here’s what you can do to snooze that biological clock.
Meet a gynecologist: Talk to your doctor before jumping to any conclusions. If you are diagnosed with perimenopause or a hormonal imbalance, your medical expert will create a plan for you, which will include a synergistic combination of lifestyle changes, medication, diet therapy, and exercise.
Eat more protein and healthy fats: Healthy fats and protein are essential for your body to produce the hormones you need. You can get your proteins healthy fats from fatty fish, poultry, nuts, and seeds.
Increase your intake of zinc: Zinc is needed for the production of important hormones that will help you slow the perimenopause process. Beans and seeds of all forms are rich in zinc.
Take vitamin B6, vitamin D3: These vitamins can help your body produce progesterone, which is essential for controlling symptom-causing estrogen overload.
If you’re still worried about the risk of reduced fertility and aren’t ready to have a baby just yet, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to childlessness. Modern fertility treatments are extremely effective and IVF specialists can even extract and store eggs for fertilization at later date, when you’re ready to have a child.