People use the terms perimenopause and menopause interchangeably. So when someone says they’re going through menopause, it’s likely they mean that they’re in perimenopause. Menopause is when you’ve gone a full 12 months without getting your period and marks the end of your reproductive years. Until that time, you’re transitioning to menopause.
Perimenopause can start several years, even a decade, before you reach menopause. Perimenopause, which means “around menopause,” is when problematic issues associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain, start.
Not all women experience troubling symptoms. Some women sail through menopause. However, most don’t. The team here at The Well for Health helps you determine if you’re experiencing normal hormonal fluctuation symptoms, or are starting perimenopause.
When does perimenopause start?
The average age at which women reach menopause is 51. However, some women reach it several years before and some not until several years after 51. Most women begin transitioning to menopause in their 40s, although some start in their 30s.
The official start of perimenopause is when the hormone estrogen starts to drop. For some, this drop is steady, and for others, it can be sudden, triggering a rollercoaster of emotions and symptoms. Menopause becomes official when your estrogen production is so low you can no longer get pregnant, and your period stops. On average, perimenopause lasts about four years, although it can take just a few months for some women and a decade for others.
Common perimenopause symptoms
The first signs or symptoms of perimenopause are either a skipped period or period irregularities, including short cycles, long cycles, and heavy or light periods. Other common signs of perimenopause include:
- Weight gain
- Concentration problems
- Loss of interest in sex
- Hot flashes
- Sleep problems
- Fertility problems
- Vaginal dryness
The less frequently you get your period, the closer to menopause you are. For some women, these symptoms are infrequent and minor. For others, it can interfere with daily life.
How to get relief from perimenopause symptoms
If perimenopause symptoms create problems in your daily routine and in your relationships, you should speak with your doctor to learn the many treatment options. You can’t prevent menopause or menopause symptoms, but you can reduce them so that they don’t interfere with your life.
The medical professionals at The Well for Health can help you find relief from problematic perimenopause and menopausal symptoms. Treatment plans will depend on your specific symptoms and health history.
Are you experiencing problematic perimenopause symptoms? Call us at 980-289-0658 or request an appointment online.