Perimenopause Symptoms – That Time in Between
Lots of people think that a woman’s hormonal levels are really in one of two stages: menstruating and menopause. What you may not realize is that there is another stage – perimenopause. Perimenopause is the transition stage between normal menstruation, and menopause.
One of the signs of perimenopause is when a woman has not had a period for twelve consecutive months. Signs of perimenopause begin to occur when are still experiencing menstrual cycles, but the time between or length may fluctuate quite a bit.
During this stage, women may still experience menstrual cycles, but they are fluctuating. Typically, perimenopause can happen occur during a woman’s late 30’s, 40’s or 50’s. Perimenopause indicates that a woman is approaching menopause.
Some of the signs of perimenopause are:
- Changes to menstrual cycle – could be a lightening in flow, heavier flow, longer or shorter intervals between periods)
- Sleep problems
- Anxiety, depression, mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Water retention or bloating
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness
You may experience just a few of the signs of perimenopause, or you may find that you suffer from a lot of them. Unfortunately, the perimenopause period can happen for several months, or even last for a few years.
During normal menstruation, estrogen is produced in the first part of the menstrual cycle and after ovulation progesterone is produced. During perimenopause, the ovulation period starts to decline, and as a result, there is a decline in progesterone. This declining progesterone against estrogen levels causes a hormonal imbalance.
If, for some reason, you have an imbalance in your hormone levels due to an illness or medical condition, you may experience symptoms that resemble perimenopause. Perimenopause is a natural condition, but you could be experiencing the symptoms of it early. The best way to determine whether you are experiencing signs of menopause is to get a simple blood test. Your doctor can test your estrogen and progesterone levels, as well as test for other conditions.
While you can’t prevent perimenopause, or the symptoms that are associated with it, you can minimize those symptoms and the impact they have on your life. For instance, watching your weight, getting sufficient exercise, eating a healthy, balanced diet, adding nutrient-rich supplements, and reducing your anxiety level can help minimize the signs of perimenopause and menopause.
The signs of perimenopause indicate just one more stage in a woman’s life. It doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or frustrating. With the right information and watching your lifestyle, you can make the move into this new phase with little fuss or worry.