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8 Natural Supplements for Perimenopause

Perimenopause symptoms can be a source of pain and discomfort. Thankfully, there are several options to help manage unwanted symptoms and adapt to this phase of your life. Not only are some of the best perimenopause supplements completely natural, they actually lower your chances for developing menopause-related conditions. Just remember to check with your doctor before adding any new medications or supplements to your daily routine.

As you approach menopause, your ovaries start producing varying, diminishing amounts of estrogen and progesterone. Both of these hormones play a vital role in regulating your menstrual cycle and other bodily processes. 

Subsequent hormonal dips and surges create random and unexpected symptoms during perimenopause, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Breast tenderness
  • Changes in your menstrual cycle
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Painful intercourse
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Hair thinning or loss
  • Acne

Furthermore, both perimenopause and menopause increase your overall risk of developing chronic conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Oral health issues
  • Urinary incontinence

Your body’s previous levels of estrogen and progesterone offered a degree of protection from these diseases. This is no longer the case once you enter menopause.

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By incorporating natural supplements for perimenopause into your daily regimen, you can relieve the associated symptoms while also safeguarding your long-term health.

Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds possessing estrogen-like properties. Some studies claim they reduce hot flashes, prevent osteoporosis, treat acne, and promote cardiovascular health. Research on their ability to fight other perimenopausal symptoms, however, has been inconclusive.

Get a daily dose of phytoestrogens in the form of supplements or by eating estrogen-rich foods like:

  • Nuts and seeds (e.g., flax, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, and walnuts) 
  • Strawberries, cranberries, and apples
  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Red wine and coffee
  • Olive oil
  • Red clover
  • Licorice root tea
  • Oats, wheat, and barley

Note that phytoestrogens do carry a few side effects. Studies have linked excessive soybean consumption to altered ovarian function and possibly certain types of cancer. 

Loss of bone density is also attributed to perimenopause and decreasing hormone levels. A shortage of calcium and increased bone resorption (when the body uses calcium from the bones to the blood) exacerbate the situation. Unfortunately, osteoporosis and similar conditions often go undiagnosed until an unexpected fracture occurs.

That’s why perimenopausal and menopausal women (aged 31 to 50) should consume 1200 mg of calcium each day. Individuals over 50 require 1200 to 1500 mg daily. 

Boost your calcium intake by consuming the following foods before the onset of perimenopause: 

  • Dairy (e.g., milk, yogurt, etc.)
  • Sardines
  • Seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Whey protein
  • Beans and lentils
  • Almonds
  • Rhubarb
  • Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Figs

DHEA is a natural steroid secreted by your adrenal glands that’s also available as a dietary supplement. Some research links low DHEA levels in menopausal women with higher rates of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, as well as diminished libido and vaginal atrophy. 

However, the side effects associated with DHEA preclude its widespread use as a perimenopause supplement.

Vitamin D is one of the most common natural supplements for perimenopause. It’s proven to combat heart disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, weight gain, diabetes, depression, and some types of cancer.

Consuming sufficient amounts of vitamin D while staying on a healthy diet for menopause is difficult. Opt for a daily supplement or increased sun exposure (be sure to use sunscreen). Because it’s crucial for calcium absorption, most calcium supplements will also contain vitamin D.

Structurally similar to hormones produced by the body, bioidentical hormone supplements can be customized to your specific needs by a pharmacist.

Keep in mind, though, there’s no evidence that these hormones should replace conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a perimenopause supplement. HRT hormones are usually safer than custom-compounded hormone preparations since their production is standardized and regulated.

Vitamin E is known to dramatically reduce the severity and frequency of perimenopausal hot flashes. Its antioxidant properties also lower your chances for depression, heart disease, and weight gain while relieving stress.

Up your dose of vitamin E by consuming nuts, seeds, wheat germ, broccoli, spinach, and shellfish. Most multivitamins currently on the market already contain the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E.

There are multiple B vitamins that can serve as natural supplements for perimenopause. 

Necessary for the release of serotonin, vitamin B6 is a neurotransmitter that has a positive effect on mood swings, fatigue, and depression.

Vitamin B12 promotes bone health, red blood cell production, and brain function. B12 deficiencies lead to anemia, fatigue, numbness or tingling sensations in your hands and feet, depression, and even dementia.

As a supplement for menopause, omega-3 fatty acids offer countless benefits. They decrease your risk of depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, hot flashes, and other menopause-related symptoms. Check with your doctor to see what your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids should be. 

Clearly, a vast array of natural supplements for perimenopause are available to relieve symptoms and prevent chronic conditions. Just remember to consult your physician prior to taking any new medications or perimenopause.