This episode is all about the perimenopause, because those years running up to the menopause can be full of hormonal havoc. In fact, although we use it as a catch-all term, the menopause technically only lasts for one day. It’s that day when it’s been 12 months since your last period. After that, you’re post menopausal. So the perimenopause is when all the fun and games really start and that can be a lot earlier than you might think. In fact, hormonal fluctuations can be going on in the background from your early 40s onwards and some of the initial symptoms can be surprising and disconcerting. Anxiety, brain fog, poor memory and loss of confidence are all fairly common issues, and they can cause a lot of concern, especially if your periods are still regular and you assume you’re too young. Why would you associate that with the menopause? But these early warning signs are very characteristic of the perimenopause and you don’t have to put up with them, because there are lots of options to help you deal with them. And this is where my latest guest comes in. I’m chatting to the brilliant Ruth Devlin, who’s a nurse, health coach and clinical educator specialising in the menopause. Dhe’s also the author of the excellent book Men! Let’s Talk Menopause, which is a snappy and useful guide to help the men in our life understand what’s going on. We discuss the different challenges faced by women during the perimenopause, from the emotional and cognitive symptoms to the physical issues such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Ruth explains some of the multiple options available to you to help manage the problems arising from the hormone ups and downs of the perimenopause and we discuss a range of potential solutions, including cognitive behavioural therapy, HRT, diet and lifestyle. This episode is a great place to start if you’ve just realised you’re perimenopausal and you’re wondering what to do about it. Tune in for her excellent advice, because Ruth is an absolute mine of useful information! I think the big takeaway here is to arm yourself with information and not rule anything out or make any assumptions about the best route for you, until you’ve considered all the options. I really hope this episode will help you feel empowered to do that, because this is your body and you have every right to make sure that you’re happy, comfortable and confident to manage your perimenopause in the way that is right for you. If you’ve enjoyed the podcast, please do leave a 5-star rating and a review on Apple podcasts or whichever platform you listen on and make sure you tell all your friends – it makes a huge difference to the visibility of the podcast and really helps to spread the word. Because every woman deserves to have a happy menopause.