Menopause and Perimenopause
Menopause is a natural and important part of every woman’s life. Most women experience this stage after age 40 and spend a third of their life in this phase.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is a normal part of aging; about 70% of women experience symptoms. Lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, and medications can help. Awareness of health during this stage is essential.
Understanding The Basics
Menopause simply means the end of menstruation. Learn the basics of menopause in this brief article.
What happens during menopause? What makes this transition occur? Read more about this important life stage.
What Is Perimenopause?
This transition starts years before your period stops. Perimenopause is the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in the 30s as well.
Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, this decline in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.
How Long Does Perimenopause Last?
The average length of perimenopause is four years, but for some women, this stage may last only a few months or continue for 10 years. Perimenopause ends the first year after menopause (when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period).
What Are the Signs of Perimenopause?
You will know you are transitioning into menopause when you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
– Hot flashes
– Breast tenderness
– Worsening of premenstrual syndrome
– Decreased libido (sex drive)
– Irregular periods
– Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
– Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing
– Urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently)
– Mood swings
– Difficulty sleeping
If you are experiencing symptoms, make an appointment to see one of our doctors at Comprehensive Center for Women’s Medicine. Call 773.435.1150.