Perimenopause: What Is It And What Are Its Signs?

Perimenopause: What Is It And What Are Its Signs?

Perimenopause is the transition period from your childbearing years to menopause. It’s characterized by fluctuating hormone levels and often some of the same symptoms as menopause, like hot flashes and sleep disturbances.

Perimenopause can begin as early as your late 30s or as late as age 51. You may experience symptoms for a few years or even decades. The length of perimenopause varies from woman to woman and can last from one to 10 years.

How do you know if you’re going through perimenopause? It’s not always easy to tell the difference between perimenopause symptoms and pregnancy symptoms.

Perimenopause can be difficult to recognize because it’s different for every woman. Some women may have no symptoms at all, while others have many symptoms. You might have a combination of symptoms or just one type of symptom.

Most women start noticing changes between ages 40 and 50. If you’re having irregular periods, especially when you’re younger than 35, see your doctor to check for other possible causes.

Women who have had at least one baby go through menopause earlier than women who haven’t had children. Women with high estrogen levels are more likely to have early menopause, while women with low estrogen levels are at greater risk for late menopause:

In general, perimenopausal symptoms include:

Hot flashes and night sweats: These are sudden feelings of warmth that can happen at any time during the day or night — even when you’re sleeping — and sometimes wake you up in the middle of the night.

Irregular periods: Your period might come earlier or later than usual, or it may stop completely for several months before starting again

Vaginal dryness and irritation

Changes in sexual desire

Mood swings and depression

Insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep), which can be brought on by hot flashes or night sweats

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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