Perimenopause is the precursor to menopause and generally occurs after age 40. It’s during this phase that you might begin to notice the symptoms associated with the condition.
Knowing what perimenopause is and what to expect can help prepare you for when it happens to you. That includes knowing what symptoms to look for and what you can do to make the transition easier.
Use this handy guide to help you get through the first of several menopause stages – perimenopause.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a term that translates to “around menopause.” It’s during this phase that you’ll begin to see symptoms that mark the transition to full-blown menopause.
It generally occurs in your 40s, but some women may begin to notice it in their 30s. This is when your ovaries begin to stop releasing an egg during some months.
The average length of perimenopause is four years, though it can last as little as a few months or as long as 10 years.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
There are a variety of signs of perimenopause that you should be on the lookout for. The most obvious is irregular periods. Once your periods have stopped for 12 consecutive months, you’ve officially moved into menopause.
Another of the most common perimenopause symptoms is hot flashes. Many women experience hot flashes during the night, which can disrupt healthy sleeping patterns.
Perimenopause can also bring on mood changes. You might notice that you get irritated more easily. Some women also report depression and anxiety during this stage.
Often, these mood swings can be due to changes in sleep patterns or the disruption that hot flashes bring to your life.
You’re also likely to notice sexual changes during perimenopause. This might include vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. You might also notice changes in your sexual arousal patterns.
Other symptoms you might notice include bone loss, bladder issues, and problems with your cholesterol levels.
All hope isn’t lost. Several things can help you cope during your perimenopausal years. That includes lifestyle changes and medications.
Artificial hormones can help balance your estrogen levels. This goes a long way toward helping relieve hot flashes, sleep issues, and sexual complaints. This might be a pill, patch, or cream that is prescribed by your doctor.
Antidepressants are another option. They can help treat hot flashes and regulate your mood during these turbulent years.
It’s important to discuss treatment methods with your doctor. Together you can determine which ones are best for your needs. Follow your treatment plan carefully for the best results.
It’s also vital to take care of your physical health. Eat a balanced diet and get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This helps you manage a healthy weight and improves mood at the same time.
The First Step
Perimenopause can be a scary time, but with the right treatment, you can get through it. Understanding what you’re up against goes a long way toward helping you manage your symptoms.
Having a support network is also important. Let us help you learn how to live a zen life, no matter what you’re going through.