Perimenopause refers to the time period in a woman's life just before she hits menopause. The body's creation of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone starts to drop off during this time, causing menstrual cycles to shorten and finally stop.
The transition can last anywhere from two to five years. After this, once a woman has gone with no period for twelve months, she is considered fully menopausal. Perimenopause onset can differ from one individual to another.
Symptoms may also differ from one individual to another. It is challenging for both patients and doctors to understand the symptoms of perimenopause.
However, there are several common signs that could signal a patient is entering perimenopause. If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, speak with your physician, who may help you put together a treatment plan to manage them.
Women entering perimenopause might find themselves experiencing varying durations of time in between periods or bypassing some completely. Blame this one on modifications in progesterone levels.
Since ovulation becomes more erratic at this time, the endometrium, the uterine layer that sloughs off during the period grows thicker than it would during a regular cycle, causing heavy bleeding to happen.
About seventy five percent of perimenopausal women suffer from annoying hot flushes, which could vary from low key flush to intense sweating. Experts have not determined precisely why hot flushes happen, but the reduction in oestrogen is considered to play a role, since it interferes with the body's capability to keep temperatures steady.
Other signs are fatigue, breast tenderness, low sex drive, mood swings, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, etc. Women who have a history of postpartum depression can have a higher risk of mood alterations during perimenopause.
To treat these symptoms, your physician might prescribe low dose hormones to assist you to ride out the changes. Avoiding caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol might help make hot flushes less serious. Include regular doses of multivitamins and calcium supplements to fight the symptoms. Also, eat healthy and exercise regularly to tackle the symptoms of perimenopause.