Understanding Perimenopause Symptoms
Some women may start to experience certain changes in their bodies when they reach their mid or late 30s. These changes may be symptoms of perimenopause, and they usually occur about 10 to 15 years before a woman stops menstruating. The perimenopause period for women and the severity of the symptoms vary from one individual to another.
Perimenopausel symptoms are caused by hormonal imbalances in women who are nearing the age of menopause, and they can be subtle changes in the body or they can be so severe that medical attention is required. Here are some of the common symptoms that are associated with perimenopause:
1) Hot flashes and night sweats: The estrogen levels in perimenopausal women are unstable, and they will cause the temperature regulating system in the body to become jumpy. This will result in hot flashes, which are characterized by heat surges in certain parts of the body as well as flushing on the face and neck, and red blotches on the back, chests, and arms. When hot flashes occur during sleep, they will cause profuse sweating that can drench your clothes and sheets. Night sweats are a major cause of insomnia in women who are perimenopausal.
2) Menstrual irregularity: Perimenopausal women can be fertile, but most of them will experience a more irregular menstrual cycle. During perimenopause, the eggs in the body will start to decrease in numbers, but the pituitary gland will continue to produce hormones to facilitate ovulation. Ovulation will become more inconsistent; menstrual cycles may become shorter or longer and the menstrual flow may become lighter or heavier. Menstrual irregularity in perimenopausal women is also a sign of decreasing fertility.
3) Mood swings: Perimenopausal women may also experience mood swings. There are occasions when they may feel depressed, anxious, irritable, or weepy, but these are mostly not direct consequences of hormonal changes that take place during perimenopause; they may be caused by insomnia or other perimenopause symptoms.
4) Vaginal problems and loss of interest in sex: As estrogen levels in the body begin to decline, the vagina will start to lose elasticity and lubrication, and this may make sexual intercourse a painful experience. As a result, some women will lose interest in sex. Depleted estrogen levels will also make women more susceptible to vaginal infections.
5) Migraine headaches: Migraine headache is also a common symptom of perimenopause, and medical experts believe that it is caused by hormonal imbalance. A study shows that calcium and vitamin D are effective in reducing the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.
6) Bone loss: Lower estrogen levels will also cause the bones in the body to deplete faster, and this makes perimenopausal women more vulnerable to osteoporosis.
7) Change in cholesterol levels: With less estrogen in the body, perimenopausal women will experience certain changes in blood cholesterol levels. There will be a decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increase in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which will both contribute to a higher risk of heart illnesses.
If you are among the many perimenopausal women, it is advisable that you consult a doctor.