Perimenopause refers to a time in a woman’s life when the hormones progesterone and estrogen levels drop. A woman who has not had a period for twelve months in a row has reached the stage of menopause. Before menopause occurs, a woman goes through what is referred to as perimenopause.
This may last from four to ten years.
Many women start to experience the symptoms of perimenopause when they are in their forties. There are even some women who start to have symptoms during their thirties. On average, a woman is about 51 years old when they reach menopause. This transition period is marked by fluctuations in hormone levels. FSH levels start to increase about five years before menopause occurs. It is during this time when women begin to experience several symptoms of perimenopause.
Many of the symptoms of perimenopause mimic other health conditions as well. This is is why it is important to discuss all of your symptoms with a physician to determine if perimenopause is the root of the problem.
Here is a list of twelve perimenopause symptoms that many women may experience. These symptoms can be quite scary, but most are manageable with the right medications and self care.
1. Changes in Periods
During perimenopause you may start to notice some changes in your period. Your periods may last longer or be shorter or you may even skip a month or two at a time. This is all normal. It is important to note that even though these changes in your period are occuring, this does not mean that you cannot get pregnant at this time, but it may be more difficult to become pregnant.
If you notice changes in your period, discuss it with your doctor. There are several tests and treatments that your doctor may provide in order to help with the irregularity of you periods during this transition time.