Your period might change in your 40s – Here’s how to handle the change

What many women start to experience in their 40s is a change in the flow, length and length of their cycles. Some can be heavy with bloodshed, and others very light; some last longer and others shorter; some have a negligible pain factor, while for others it feels debilitating. That there is a change of some sort is inevitable, says Dr. Javaid, although some changes should not be ignored as typical.

“If the cycles suddenly become very painful, last longer than seven days, become heavy, or occur less than every 21 days, you should see a health care professional for a checkup and possibly lab tests and a pelvic ultrasound,” adds she does. Heavy bleeding can also be an indicator of something more insidious like fibroids, polyps, cysts, adenomyosis, thyroid problems, bleeding disorders, or certain cancers, which is why many healthcare professionals. health advise women to use an app (Index is excellent), to keep track of their period and to keep a symptom diary.

Pregnancy, which a growing number of women wait until their 40s to begin, can also alter your menstrual cycle, as it essentially resets the endocrine (hormone) and immune system, says Eden Fromberg, MD, a holistic gynecologist based at New York. “The disruption of circadian rhythms after pregnancy influences the secretion of melatonin, which is linked to the control of the stimulator of the menstrual cycle,” says Dr Fromberg, adding that oxytocin and stress hormones also feel the impact of pregnancy. and breastfeeding, which can affect your cycle.

Recently some people reported experience menstrual changes after receiving the Covid vaccine or contracting Covid himself. Dr Amersi points out that these hormonal changes typically last four to six weeks and will not affect fertility or the ability to get pregnant, although more research is needed on the impact of the vaccine on the female body.

Does hormonal contraception help or hurt?

Women in their 40s who complain of heavy bleeding may be prescribed contraception, which Dr Amersi likens to putting a bandage on your symptoms rather than addressing the root cause of an imbalance. “I always warn patients against birth control pills or synthetic hormones for a long time because of the risk factors for stroke, blood clots and mood changes that come with it,” he adds. -she. Dr Fromberg agrees: “When used for an extended period of time, the pill can impact menstrual periods through the recalibration of hormone receptors and hormone production in the endometrium, ovary, pituitary, hypothalamus and other tissues.

What does all of this mean for my skin?

With or without contraception, our skin can mirror our midlife hormonal upheavals. “The underlying hormonal changes that impact your flow can also impact your skin,” says Dr. Javaid. Estrogen pulls water with it, she explains, so when those levels drop, the skin becomes drier. Collagen production also drops when estrogen does, and acne is a common occurrence with hormonal cascades. When acupuncturist Sandra Chiu sees a new patient for a skin disorder, she always asks and assesses her menstrual cycle. “This gives us clues as to what might not be working internally and which might be affecting healthy skin function,” she says, adding that rosacea and melasma are problems she often sees in women in. 40s having menstrual irregularities.

Is there a way to create smoother change?

There are ways to ease the hormonal transition from midlife. And if you can start this easing early, even better. “Developing a healthy lifestyle in your 30s is important because each decade prepares you for the next,” says Dr. Amersi.

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