Before a woman officially enters menopause, there is a transitional phase called perimenopause. While menopause is the official conclusion of a woman’s reproductive years, perimenopause is an in-between time of declining fertility when you can still get pregnant.
At The Well for Health in Davidson, North Carolina, our team of functional medicine experts help you navigate the discomfort of perimenopause with a range of holistic treatment options. In this blog, our caring specialists explain more about the condition and symptoms that accompany it.
Perimenopause is an unspecified time period when your ovaries slowly decrease their estrogen and egg production. Though it typically begins in your mid-to-late 40s, it can occur as early as your 30s. Once your egg production completely ceases, you’ll no longer have a monthly period.
Though the average is about four years, perimenopause can last a few short months or as long as a decade. Once you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle, you are in menopause.
Symptoms of perimenopause
For some women, the symptoms of perimenopause are mild and don’t cause many problems. For many, the symptoms are more aggressive and include:
- Irregular periods
- Heavy periods
- Tender breasts
- Memory problems
- Brain fog
- Changes in your cholesterol levels
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Disrupted sleep
- Frequent vaginal infections
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent need to urinate
- Decreased sex drive
- Bone loss
It’s very normal to have irregular periods during perimenopause, but you should seek medical care if you notice:
- Bleeding is abnormally heavy
- Bleeding lasts longer than 7 days
- Periods regularly occur less than 21 days apart
It may also be cause for concern if you often bleed between your periods.
Treatment options for perimenopause
Our team is passionate about treating you with the most conservative methods possible. We’ll take a look at your lifestyle, consider how you’re feeling from day to day, and review your medical history. Many of your symptoms improve with simple changes like:
- Ensuring you are getting proper nutrition
- Including daily exercise
- Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Keeping your weight in check
If your hormone imbalance is severe, your doctor may recommend bioidentical hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy. Rebalancing your hormones can alleviate many of the unpleasant symptoms of perimenopause and restore your quality of life. Each case is different, so our team customizes your treatment to best meet your needs and goals.
To get started with a comprehensive evaluation and discuss options to help you navigate perimenopause, call the office in Davidson, North Carolina or request an appointment online.