3 Important Things To Know About Perimenopause

Perimenopause

I’m excited to share my knowledge about perimenopause: I’m in the throes myself, being 46.


by: Chia Chia Sun

 

I wake up every day, excited about running an impactful business and raising my teens with my loving partner. I do however have to take much better care of myself than before and this is a must, not a nice-to-have, as my hormones change every day.

 

#1 – Perimenopause starts at age 40 and menopause doesn’t end

 

I was 43 before I learned that I had been in perimenopause already for 3 years.

What is perimenopause exactly? It’s the period between ages 40 and 50 in which our ovaries start to decline in function, resulting eventually in complete shut-down (menopause).

Perimenopause is characterized by the greatest hormonal fluctuation in a woman’s life. Our ovaries produce our female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and also testosterone, which is the “libido” or “aggression” hormone. In perimenopause, our female hormones will spike on a monthly basis and decline overall, with mood and physiological fluxes. The “spiking” occurs because our ovaries are still trying to “overcompensate” and push out eggs so that in fact, our estrogen can be even higher than normal while our progesterone decreases. Testosterone production takes longer to decline, resulting in lower libido for many women.

Menopause is never-ending and lasts for the rest of our lives. The taboo around menopause has led to the suppression of very important health facts we need to know and this realization led to the creation of our company, Damiva, which makes Mae by Damiva, a 100% natural vaginal moisturizer, Cleo by Damiva, a 100% natural labial moisturizer, and has a mission to educate and empower women.

 

#2 – We have an opportunity to retrain ourselves and our loved ones

 

I’m learning – slowly – to shed the bad habits that kept me going. One of them is that I always run to my loved ones when they call. This is a good trait – and our nurturing hormone progesterone supports it – but as my hormones decline, I am also declining in my ability to be at their beck and call.  So I need to “re-train” my family and it’s the right time, given that my teenagers will be out of the nest soon.

Another bad habit of mine is to ignore what my body is telling me. These days, I am more aware of my moods and needs. Around the time of my period, when my progesterone is low, I now have no qualms about telling everyone that they will need to fend for themselves. It’s okay for me to withdraw and focus on energy conservation. This would definitely be difficult if I had young kids and it’s important for women 40+ with younger children that they build in time for themselves.

 

#3 – Replacing the bad with the good becomes paramount

 

At home, I have 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 teenagers, ages 14 and 18, a partner, a landscaper, contractors and a housekeeper. At work, I run a women’s health company with full infrastructure – employees, manufacturing, distribution, logistics and marketing – in both Canada and the U.S. It’s crucial for me to be healthy and maintain by cutting down on foods bad for me (alcohol, caffeine and carbs) while increasing supplements and vegetables. These days, I spend more intimate time with my partner instead of accepting every networking or social invitation.

On a daily basis, I take several different type of supplements – magnesium, zinc, ashwaganda, DHEA, vitamins B and D, salmon oil and evening primrose oil. I tailor them almost daily and don’t take them all at the same time. I am most consistent in taking magnesium and zinc as they are important for hormonal health. For the first time in my life, I am supplemented up to my neck! They are necessary for my well-being and productivity.

Do you feel too young for this? I certainly did and sometimes still do. But with menopause around the corner, I’m really prepared. As women, we can do a lot to make the next 40 years the time of our lives.

 

About the Author

Chia Chia Sun

Chia Chia Sun is a pharmaceutical executive turned women’s health entrepreneur. As CEO of Damiva Inc., a women’s health company developing innovative natural products for women 40+, she has dedicated her career to making the last 40 years of a woman’s life happier than the first. Chia Chia has worked as a C-level executive for life sciences companies based in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. In her spare time, she loves to get teased by her teenagers, knit and cook for her partner, and read about taboo-breaking companies.

 

 

 

Perimenopause

 

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I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!