Can acupuncture help to ease the symptoms of perimenopause? Years before your cycle stops, you may start to experience major physical, mental, or emotional changes. Even though these symptoms can disrupt your life, you can find relief. If you don’t want to try hormonal replacement therapy, take a look at what you need to know about perimenopause and acupuncture.
What is Perimenopause?
Menopause begins after 12 months in a row without having a period. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t have symptoms of perimenopause well before your cycle stops.
The length of this transitional period averages from three to four years, according to Harvard Medical School. Even though this is the average timeframe, some women may only experience perimenopause for a few months — while others have symptoms for up to a decade.
As you go through this transition time before menopause, your hormones fluctuate. Estrogen and progesterone decrease, leading to symptoms such as missed periods, changes in menstrual cycle length, hot flashes, mood changes (including anxiety, irritability, or depression), insomnia, or a change in period flow. Along with these symptoms, some women also experience hair loss and weight gain.
How Do You Stop Perimenopause?
You can’t stop perimenopause. Even though the symptoms are uncomfortable or may disrupt your normal daily activities, this transition is a normal part of life. Instead of stopping perimenopause, you may want to learn how to treat the symptoms. Common medical treatments for perimenopause symptoms include hormone replacement therapy, hormonal birth control, and antidepressants.
Are Medical Treatments the Only Options?
Simply stated, no. Whether you don’t want to try medical therapies or you can’t use them for health-related reasons, you have choices. Acupuncture can help to treat some of the top perimenopause symptoms. A 2019 study found that acupuncture could decrease perimenopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sweats, sleeping problems, emotional changes, and hair or skin issues.
Why Choose Acupuncture for Perimenopause?
Again, some women can’t or won’t try medical approaches to perimenopause symptom therapy. If you’re looking for an alternative way to manage the perimenopause transition or you have found that medical methods don’t work out for you, acupuncture is an option to seriously explore.
Unlike medications and hormone therapy, acupuncture comes with very few health-related risks. Some of the potential risks of hormone therapy include stroke, heart attack, blood clots, gallbladder disease, and some types of cancer, according to the Cleveland Clinic. These risks vary depending on the woman’s age, health history, dosage, and type of hormone therapy.
Women who feel the risks don’t outweigh the benefits of a traditional treatment may choose acupuncture.
Where Can You Find an Acupuncture Service?
Even though you don’t need to visit a medical doctor for this type of service, you should choose a practitioner with knowledge and experience in treating perimenopausal women with acupuncture techniques.
Before you schedule your first appointment, talk to the practitioner about their experience, treatment options, and typical results. Provide the acupuncturist with a full health history and the history of your perimenopause symptoms (including when they started and which ones trouble you the most). If you’ve tried conventional medicine, discuss your previous experiences and if this type of treatment failed you.
Will Acupuncture Help Every Symptom of Perimenopause?
This is where providing the acupuncturist with a full history of your symptoms comes into play. If the provider doesn’t know which symptoms they need to treat, they can’t help you effectively. Review each symptom with the acupuncturist and discuss how they can ease these issues as you move towards menopause.
Do you need to schedule an acupuncture appointment? Contact Acupuncture & Holistic Health Associates for more information.