It can seem like a cruel joke that God has designed women to go through premenopause at around the same time of their lives that they begin to feel their bodies aging, they may have mid-life tension related to finances or career situations, they likely are parenting teenagers, and may also be caring for aging parents. What a perfect time to throw in hot flashes, memory issues, insomnia, mood swings, fertility sign chaos, depression, etc.!

It’s not unusual for women to be caught off guard when they start to experience changes. I’ve spoken to many women who were initially frustrated and confused by different fertility signs. Often they had been sailing along for many years with confidence in their cycles, even enjoying such regularity and familiarity that they charted less than they did in earlier years. Then when unusual things start happening they found themselves in unfamiliar territory: “But I always see a temp shift by Day [whatever].” “I’ve never had a Peak Day this late [or early].”

Throw that uncertainty in with the other things typically going on in life when you’re in your early-to-mid forties and you have a recipe for stress. I’ve found, however, that tensions ease exponentially when the woman gets a refresher on basic fertility awareness facts related to this time of her life. All through the fertile years she was drilled to think “mucus = fertility.” Things are not quite that black-and-white in the transition to the end of fertility when hormone levels can cause mucus to come and go in random patterns that don’t always result in an ovulation. Premenopause changes force the adoption of a new mindset: Get comfortable with the unexpected. That’s not easy when we crave stability.

But, knowledge is power, so take CCL’s Premenopause Class if you are heading toward 40. It’s also great to get back in regular touch with your teaching couple. They are happy to be of help through your transition. Just last week I reviewed a chart from a 52-year-old woman who has checked in with me many times over the last 3–4 years. Together we talked over a possible weak thermal shift. She appreciated my second set of eyes, and together we rejoiced that she was on Day 185 of that cycle — more than two-thirds to the one-year mark to hit menopause. She’s getting close!

— Ann Gundlach
Director of Communications

Family Foundations, March/April 2020
The March/April 2020 issue of Family Foundations magazine focuses on premenopause, including features on lifestyle practices that could help you avoid a hysterectomy and a look at the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy. If you don’t already receive this award-winning magazine, subscribe today!