Your Life Stages, By the Numbers: Results from Our STAGES Women’s Health Survey

Your Life Stages, By the Numbers: Results from Our STAGES Women’s Health Survey

One hundred and fifty. That’s the shocking number, experts posit, of known symptoms associated with PMS, or premenstrual syndrome.1 With menopause? Thirty-four common symptoms.2 So when we set out to create our her life STAGES line, with formulas targeted for menstruation through menopause and beyond, we wanted to know what you experience—which of the often-frustrating and uncomfortable issues on these long lists you need support to get through.

We surveyed nearly 1,000 women of all ages, and then our innovation team and Dr. Pamela Peeke used that data to develop products that match your wishes and non-negotiables.

Now we’re sharing the answers you gave us back with you, as part of our efforts to help shift the narrative that these are taboo topics—to get us all talking openly about these normal, natural life stages. We want to help you see that you’re not alone in the experiences of your current stage, and help you get a better idea of what lies ahead on your hormonal journey. And, we want to show you how we designed STAGES expressly for you.

Knowledge Is Power: Our Methods & Objectives

In 2022, our expert researchers put together an online survey to get to the bottom of how you manage menstruation, where you learn about menopause, what kind of support you’re seeking, and much more.

We wanted to determine the most prevalent symptoms you experience during each life stage, as well as if you discuss these symptoms with your doctor and whether or not you use vitamins and supplements to help. Of course, we wanted to get your first reaction to our new supplements, too.

Among existing Solaray customers at the time, as well as those of you we hope are customers now, 138 women who experience PMS, 173 women who experience discomfort on their period, 256 perimenopausal women, 182 menopausal women, and 160 postmenopausal women responded.

Let’s dig into the numbers. Here’s what we discovered:

PMS & Menstruation Infographic

Your Period Impacts Your Daily Life & Mood

Though not everyone who menstruates experiences PMS in the days leading up to their period, most do. The exact cause of PMS is unknown, but researchers have several theories, including that it’s the result of  monthly hormonal fluctuations.3 Another guess is that a dip in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls mood, triggers PMS.4 No matter the cause, it’s a perfectly normal part of your cycle—and worth studying.

Of those 150 related symptoms mentioned, you and our other survey respondents said these top five were most common, ranging from moderate to severe: irritability, abdominal bloating, cramps, mood swings, and fatigue. Breast tenderness was less severe but more common than irritability. Ultimately, six out of every 10 survey participants said that PMS affects their daily activities, with skipping exercise and missing social events some of the most common impacts. As a result, more than 50% of everyone polled has discussed their symptoms with their doctor. And at the time, more than half of you already used vitamins and supplements to help support you through your symptoms.

Once you begin shedding the lining of your uterus and menstruating, the discomfort doesn’t stop for everyone. In fact, our survey showed it continues for the majority of you: 69% of respondents said they experience discomfort with their period. In fact, it’s the same moderate-to-severe symptoms as with PMS, but instead of mood swings, backache and breast tenderness were big problems. Only 28% of women polled said menstruation does not impact their daily life. Around half of you were already taking menstrual supplements.

We Heard You: Meet her life STAGES PMS & Menstrual

While our award-winning STAGES PMS & Menstrual couldn’t be designed to help address all 150 possible symptoms, it was specially crafted to meet your top needs. We formulated this product with the traditional herb vitex, to support a healthy cycle and help ease menstrual discomfort, including breast tenderness; green tea for energy; and clinically backed saffron, which has been studied to support mood and help promote a positive outlook.†*  

perimenopause infographic - Solaray

In Perimenopause, You Learn to Expect the Unexpected

Perimenopause can be a little shocking. After 30-some-odd years of predictable menstrual cycles, even small hormonal shifts can feel significant. When estrogen levels are higher, you may experience symptoms similar to PMS; when estrogen is lower, you may have perimenopausal night sweats or hot flashes. To make things more confusing, you can still have normal cycles, often making it difficult to predict how you’ll feel from one week to the next.

With some of its main symptoms the same as that of menopause, it’s no surprise that more than half of you polled didn’t fully understand the difference between perimenopause and menopause prior to experiencing the changes of this life stage yourself. When it comes to those shifts, the majority of you deal with an array of issues.

Nine out of 10 women surveyed between the ages of 40-53 experience perimenopausal symptoms. The top five most common? Irregular periods, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, and hot flashes. These aren’t the only issues: Night sweats are also common, as well as changes in sex drive.

According to our research, nine out of 10 women also believe perimenopause is a significant issue to be discussed, though not all of you experiencing the above symptoms always feel comfortable enough to talk to your doctors about them, and not all of you felt you got enough information from your practitioner about this stage before you reached it. Importantly, nearly three-quarters of you want more information about perimenopause. More than half of you felt that the supplements on the market before STAGES didn’t address all of your perimenopausal issues. 

her life STAGES Perimenopause: A Solution to Your Top Concerns

Dr. Peeke and our expert formulators created our award-winning STAGES Perimenopause in direct response to your survey answers, as a solution to as many of your concerns as we could address. It includes black cohosh, one of the most well-known herbs for peri/menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, as well as scientifically backed saffron, shown in numerous clinical studies to support a variety of perimenopause symptoms as well as mood and sleep.‡* Like our PMS formula, it’s also designed to help promote a healthy cycle.†* 

Menopuase Infographic - Solaray

You’re Embracing Menopause With Confidence

Though the discourse is finally starting to shift, there’s still a bit of a stigma around menopause—or the time when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a period—especially amongst older generations who were taught not to talk about “the change,” or to use euphemisms to disguise this perfectly normal and healthy hormonal milestone. We wanted to use our survey to uncover how you feel about this stage.

We were thrilled to learn that 60% of all the women in this stage who responded believe menopause does not have a negative impact on their confidence. What’s more, a percentage of you actually think it has a positive impact on your self-esteem.

That said, weight gain is the menopause symptom you are most concerned about, followed by trouble sleeping, hot flashes, fatigue, and night sweats to round out the top five. You are also concerned about changes in libido as well as mood swings, among nearly 20 other issues. Thankfully, 70% of women surveyed discuss these symptoms with their doctor.

But a number of you weren’t happy with the options available for support at that time. In fact, almost half of respondents said they weren’t happy with their current menopause supplement. We knew we could help. 

her life STAGES Menopause Can Help Make This Phase a Good Change of Pace

Just one supplement can’t help with all 34 menopause symptoms. But Dr. Peeke and the Solaray team listened to your prime concerns: Thanks to ingredients such as black cohosh, green tea, and clinically proven saffron and orange extract, STAGES Menopause provides powerful support for menopausal hot flashes and night sweats and sound sleep—plus mood and energy to help you get through the day.‡* And, it’s designed to support weight loss, along with overall body composition and a healthy hip and waist circumference.*

postmenopause infographic - Solaray

You’re Owning Postmenopause

Picture a woman with high self-esteem. How old is she? If you imagine a 25-year-old without a single gray hair, think again. According to a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies, self-esteem peaks at age 60 and remains constant through age 70.It might be surprising, but it’s not a coincidence. Women in their 60s have six decades of knowledge to draw from and often have a deep understanding of their bodies.

In this phase, your menopause symptoms are likely waning, or will soon begin to decrease. If you’re feeling upbeat about that, you’re not alone. Of the 160 postmenopausal women we surveyed, 27% said they felt relieved after learning they had reached postmenopause, and 16% said they were happy to have reached this stage. The other 43% felt neutral rather than negatively.

The women we surveyed still experience some postmenopausal symptoms, however—nearly 40%. Some of the most typical? Hot flashes, weight gain, trouble sleeping, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, night sweats, fatigue, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating. To help with these symptoms, you shared that you wanted to take a natural approach, and were looking for a supplement that had proven efficacy and was also made in the US (we proudly manufacture in Utah) without hormones or soy.

The Support You’re Seeking Once Menopause Is In the Rearview: her life STAGES Postmenopause

Here’s how we crafted STAGES Postmenopause as a solution for many of your top concerns: It includes some of the same ingredients as our other formulas to help with lingering hot flashes and night sweats, plus overall mood and sleep.* It also contains the same science-backed orange extract in our Menopause formula, proven for weight loss support.* Plus, it features clinically studied resveratrol, shown to support cognitive function and performance.*

In addition, the line includes a STAGES Libido supplement that can be taken in postmenopause, as well as any other life stage in combination with any of the other STAGES products. It’s specially formulated to support enhanced arousal, sexual satisfaction, and natural lubrication.* It’s also designed to support mental energy and occasional stress to help you find the right mindset for intimacy.* It features a scientifically backed ashwagandha extract, which has been clinically shown to support female libido in many powerful ways.* Learn more about sexual health at every age.

Embrace the Changes, Stay Supported—Today & Tomorrow

We’re thankful that so many of you shared your experiences with us to help with the creation of our her life STAGES line. In sharing these statistics, we want to help you better own your life stage and get the support you need.

As you note the shared experience of menstruation, we encourage you to welcome it as time to care for yourself, a monthly reminder to appreciate everything you’ve accomplished during the previous weeks, or a time to set intentions for the month ahead. And we hope that you can see all the phases of menopause as times to take pride in the ways you’re Living Brighter and get ready for new opportunities, to celebrate yourself and support your body with healthy habits.

STAGES is there for you every step of the way, with doctor-formulated products featuring clinically backed ingredients you can count on, and no hormones or soy. All formulas with the exception of Libido also feature essential minerals for blood glucose and thyroid support + a trace mineral complex to promote overall wellness.* Read more.

Curious which formula is right for you? Take our quick STAGES Quiz for a tailored product(s) recommendation.

† As experienced in conjunction with a normal, healthy period.
‡ As experienced in conjunction with perimenopause and menopause.


  1.  “What is PMS?” National Association for Premenstrual Syndromes,
  2. “What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause, and What Helps?” Medical News Today,
  3. “Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).” Mayo Clinic, 25 Feb. 2022,
  4. Valencia Higuera and Crystal Raypole. “PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms, Treatments, and More.” Healthline,” Accessed 23 April 2024.
  5.  Orth, U., Erol, R. Y., & Luciano, E. C. (2018). Development of Self-Esteem from Age 4 to 94 years: A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies. Psychological Bulletin, 144(10), 1045–1080.

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