THE PILL FOR PERIMENOPAUSE – WHAT’S THE DEAL?

hormonal health perimenopause women's health Sep 21, 2022
The Pill for Perimenopause - What's The Deal?

Has your doctor suggested using the Pill for perimenopause management and contraception? While it’s amazing that women have more options (and legal ones at that!) for preventing pregnancy and balancing hormones, it’s not a fit for everyone.

If you’re considering hormonal contraception including the Pill for perimenopause symptoms, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PILL & HORMONAL CONTRACEPTION

Hormonal contraceptives include

  • The Pill (health pracs will refer to it as OCP)
  • Implanon
  • IUDs like the Mirena

These secrete synthetic forms of progesterone and/or oestrogen. But what you need to keep in mind is that these do not have the same structure as the hormones in your body!

For example, synthetic progesterone hormones (progestins) are more like testosterone – that’s why they can cause hair loss & weight gain!

USING THE PILL FOR PREVENTING BONUS BABIES

Many people still need to use contraception in some form through their 40s and 50s. I hear you – when you’re done building your family, you can live in eternal fear of a ‘surprise’ baby!

This can be even worse for those going through perimenopause. Your periods can start going AWOL as your hormones shift, so you end up wondering ‘am I pregnant??’ every other cycle!

USING THE PILL FOR PERIMENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS

You’ll often hear of GPs prescribing hormonal contraceptives to regulate periods, ease heavy bleeding and reduce perimenopause symptoms.

Let’s be very clear about something: hormonal contraception does not regulate your hormones! They shut down your own hormonal symphony and all of its benefits.

The majority of them prevent ovulation completely. This robs you of progesterone, which we love for the brain, nervous system, hair, skin and sleep benefits it offers. The Mirena is an exception to this as you still ovulate and are exposed to lower levels of synthetic hormones, but it can still throw off the balance of internal hormones.

Using hormonal contraception such as the Pill for perimenopause is actually putting you into a chemical menopause!

Another issue I hear from my clients is that their contraception of choice is causing more trouble than it’s worth. Sure, it might reduce their heavy bleeding, pain and acne… but at the same time, it’s increasing their hot flushes, sweats, mood swings, anxiety and non-existent libido! Adding hormones to the rollercoaster of perimenopausal shifts can mean far more symptoms.

It’s important we keep in mind the risks of hormonal contraception. You’re looking at a greater chance of cardiovascular issues such as stroke and blood clots, not to mention a higher breast cancer risk. If you have a family history of breast cancer, please make sure you discuss that with your GP!

WHY I DON’T LOVE THE PILL FOR PERIMENOPAUSE MANAGEMENT

At the end of the day, using hormonal contraceptives to ‘regulate’ your cycle is just shutting down your hormones and masking the problem. I think Hairspray puts it best:

You can’t stop the beat!

You can try to stop the seasons girl

But you know you never will

Sure, you might shut down the hormone cycle and some immediate symptoms. But the underlying imbalances and biochemistry? They’re still there! So you will have to face the transition to menopause at some point – and the longer you put it off with the Pill, the rougher it’s likely to be.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! The fluctuations of perimenopause can be smoothed out. So instead of it being horrific, it could be a wonderful period of reclaiming your health, energy and enthusiasm. It’s an ending, yes – but also the beginning of a new and exciting chapter that you get to write.

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?

I’m glad you asked! Let’s break it down into the two reasons you might be considering it.

Contraception:

  • Barrier methods such as condoms
  • If you prefer a set and forget option, the Mirena has the least concerns hormone-wise

Perimenopause symptoms:

  • Bio-identical HRT – this may be difficult for some to access, particularly in your 40s
  • Balance your biochemistry with food as medicine (my personal fave!)

The best part is that you can see a massive difference using the tools you already have at your disposal – what you eat, how you sleep, movement, stress management. Let’s have a quick peek at what Bron experienced in just 12 weeks:

Before working with Sarah, my head was foggy. I found concentrating difficult. I was tired. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was bloated and struggling with weight gain. I couldn’t leave the house for first 2 days of my period. My blood pressure increased suddenly and inexplicably. I had tried all kinds of things and nothing was working.

 And now? I feel better than I have in years. My head is clear, I have energy, better sleep, less bloating, fewer headaches, no night sweats. I can leave the house on day 1 of my period. I am more mindful of my food and how I eat.

 I feel like I have more control and have to knowledge, tools and confidence to tackle whatever comes next. It’s been one of the best investments I have made in myself and my health!

WISH YOU COULD EXPERIENCE A CALMER TRANSITION THROUGH PERIMENOPAUSE?

While symptoms such as weight gain, hot flashes, mood swings and anxiety are common, they don’t have to be inevitable! We can take steps to smooth the hormonal waves and put you back in the driver’s seat again.

If you are ready to feel calm, less stressed and able to put yourself first, book in for a free discovery call today. Together, we can explore how I can help you to support and nourish yourself – mind, body and spirit.

Is it perimenopause hormone changes or something else making you cranky, exhausted, overwhelmed, and gaining weight in your 40s?

UNLOCK THE MYSTERY BEHIND YOUR SYMPTOMS WITH THE PERIMENOPAUSE DECODER

Don't continue to feel stuck and confused - download The Perimenopause Decoder now and gain clarity on your journey to perimenopause!