Perimenopause & Menopause

Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life where periods stop and ovulation ceases.

The average age is 51 years. Hot flashes, night sweats, dry skin, painful sex, and dry vaginal tissue are the most common complaints.

Perimenopause is the time leading up to the menopausal stage when symptoms can be most severe and variable.

Women complain of mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, hot flashes, night sweats, heavy periods, no periods, skipping periods and then they can experience a period of time when everything goes back to normal. Perimenopause may last a few months to several years!

When I was struggling with severe anxiety, most doctors wanted to put me on antidepressants and xanax. Little did I know that my anxiety was caused by menopause. Dr. Brown was able to help me get it under control with HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

Susan P.

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Perimenopause San Jose Integrative MedicineFor some women like Susan, perimenopause can bring on severe anxiety due to changes in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. In perimenopause, all the sex hormones fluctuate in ways that your body is not accustomed to. Estrogen may increase to record highs, progesterone may rise and fall randomly, and testosterone may not even show up to the party!

Perimenopause is different from one woman to the next. While some women only experience hot flashes, others have none. Some perimenopausal women experience insomnia, either not able to fall asleep or waking in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep. Some women have a high sex drive during perimenopauase, others complain of none and a low libido. Due to all the stress caused by fluctuations of the sex hormones, most perimenopausal women complain of brain fog and worse memory.

Common symptoms of Perimenopause:


Inability to Manage Stress

Increased Migraines &/or Headaches



Hot Flashes

Night Sweats

Vaginal Dryness

Low Libido/Sex Drive

Failure to Orgasm

Painful Sex

Increased PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

Irregular Periods: Frequent, Skipped, Short Cycles

Heavy Bleeding &/or Prolonged Bleeding

Lighter Periods &/or Short Periods

Hair Loss

Increase in Body & Facial Hair

Breast Tenderness


Dry Skin

Increase Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Increased Facial Wrinkles

Weight Gain

Growth of Existing Endometriosis, Cysts &/or Fibroids

Increased Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

Less Common Symptoms of Perimenopause:

Onset of Hives and Eczema
Digestive Problems-Gas, Bloating, Abnormal Bowel Movements
Joint and Muscular Pain

Perimenopausal changes in hormones can begin as early as the mid 30s and the first symptom is usually some change in your menstrual cycle. It may be a small change like length of your period or number of days between your periods. By 40, you may start experiencing other symptoms like hot flashes when your period starts or worsening PMS.

By mid to late 40s, you are most likely experiencing some or most all of the common symptoms of perimenopause. There are some lucky women who don’t experience any perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms. They simply transition from having periods to not. Others need help with that transition.

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Menopause San Jose Integrative MedicineMenopause is the complete cessation of periods and ovulation. It officially begins 12 months after your last menstrual period. For most women, most of the symptoms of perimenopause improve in menopause…eventually (months to years)!

This is because hormones are no longer fluctuating (going up and down at random) but rather low and not changing. Most women’s bodies adapt (gets used to) to low yet stable levels of hormones. Some, though, never adapt to low estrogen and progesterone and continue to experience hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, low libido, and anxiety.

Some menopausal women (the lucky ones) continue to have adequate amounts of sex hormones, enough that they are symptom free. Although they may not feel the effects of low hormones, their bodies do. The body’s organs, from our heart to digestive organs to skin, are all supported by hormones.

Without these hormones, organs age more quickly. In fact, women who go through early menopause have an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, i.e. heart attack, stroke, and hip breaks!

Menopausal and post menopausal women who are not on some sort of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) may experience chronic symptoms related to low sex hormones.

Common Symptoms of Post Menopause:

Vaginal Atrophy

Vaginal Dryness

Dry Skin

Increase in Facial Wrinkles

Hair Loss

Joint Pain & Aching

Poor Memory

Low Libido/Sex Drive

Painful Sex &/or Failure to Orgasm

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Feeling Great in Perimenopause, Menopause, & Beyond

Feeling Great in Perimenopause, Menopause, & BeyondAt San Jose Integrative Medicine, we do not “treat” perimenopause or menopause because there is no disease to treat. Rather, we support women from perimenopause through menopause and postmenopause.

Perimenopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life. Perhaps once upon a time, women had no life altering symptoms as they went through perimenopause and menopause, but today many women do.

You do not need to suffer. Better nutrition, herbal support, mind/body techniques, and/or bioidentical hormones can relieve perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms.

We optimize and balance hormones by addressing deficient or excessive estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and/or pregnenolone. By using natural means and/or bioidentical hormones, we can alleviate most symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

Our goal for you is to:

Improve Energy and Feeling of Vitality

Correct Any Nutritional Deficiencies

Improve Mood & Libido

Restore Healthy Skin & Hair

Improve Body Weight & Composition

Maintain Healthy Breast Tissue

Preserve Strong Bones & Cardiovascular System

Restore Vaginal Integrity

Alleviate Pain

Identify & Treat Hypertension, Diabetes, and High Cholesterol

Support Healthy & Active Aging

We are here to support you as you go through perimenopause and beyond.

If you’d like to discuss your symptoms and how we can help, give us a call at 408-357-3422 or request a complimentary phone consultation.

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