Claire Dinsmore on perimenopause: ‘Make this phase your power years’

Everything you need to know about this transitional stage of life

Listen | 38:35

Perimenopause coach Claire Dinsmore wants women to reframe the way they approach the menopause. “You can make this phase your power years,” she says. “You don’t have to suffer”.

Based in San Francisco, Dinsmore who originally hails from Co Down in Northern Ireland, coaches perimenopausal women through her online course ‘The Whole Woman Approach’.

The programme is focused on improving nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management, elements which Dinsmore says are vital to navigating the perimenopause as smoothly as possible. It also acts as a safe space for women to speak openly about menopause and share their experiences with each other.

“I’ve had women who have come to me and said ‘I felt like I was run over by a bus, and then backed up over again by a lorry, for no apparent reason,’ she tells Róisín Ingle on the latest episode of The Irish Times Women’s Podcast.


A former barrister, Dinsmore became a certified perimenopause coach, in order to help women reclaim a “sense of purpose and a sense of potential going forward”. It was also a career choice made following her own rocky transition into perimenopause a number of years ago.

“Three years ago I was at quite a low point, I didn’t know if I was depressed, I didn’t really know what was wrong with me,” she says.

“I used to think ‘I’ll go for a run and then I’ll feel better’, but actually I would be on the run and I would feel paralysed… I would stop at the end of the road, the tears would be tripping me, and I couldn’t move’.

As a busy mother of four, Dinsmore says initially she cast her feelings aside and “put on a front”. “I was showing up and sorting the kids out, and I was getting on with my day to day stuff, but inside I felt like I was crumbling”.

“The tipping point for me was one of my sons saying to me: ‘Mummy are you going to be ok today?’ And I thought ‘oh my god, they have noticed’, I thought I was hiding it from them and I wasn’t”.

After reaching out to friends and family to see if anyone else was experiencing similar emotions, Dinsmore says she began to reflect on her life stage and research the symptoms of perimenopause.

“That’s when I started looking at perimenopause and became certified as a perimenopause coach,” she says.

In this episode, we also hear about Dinsmore’s love of weight lifting, how she found her tribe in San Francisco and her simple steps to improve overall well being.

You can listen back to this episode in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts.