The 40’s for women tend to be a decade with the most significant hormone changes. Menstrual cycles, fertility and even the impact of stress can cause shifts in your hormones. It is extremely helpful to understand the mechanisms of what is happening, and also to test for hormone levels so we can treat the body accordingly. There are so many routes available to support hormone changes in the 40’s, beginning with the basics of nutrition, exercise and stress reduction, leading to herbs and supplements, and possibly the use of bio-identical hormones.
Here are some of the ways hormones change in your 40’s:
1) Your periods come closer together:
Through your forties, periods will start to come closer together. Below is a typical pattern many women experience with their cycles over time.
- 20’s: approximately 31 days apart
- 30’s: approximately 28 days apart
- 40’s: 24-27 days apart
2) Fertility drops rapidly:
Fertility in the 40’s is very hard to predict, because even with optimal hormone balance, your eggs are aging. Almost entirely due to egg quality, miscarriage rates are as high as 60% by age 44. (1) There are no hard and fast rules however, some women’s fertility does continue up to about 45 years old, but you really can’t count on it. Read more on miscarriage here.