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A recognition that a transitional period happens before menopause varies from woman to woman. Hormones become unbalanced and fluctuate causing distress to the body. Symptoms of perimenopause can occur as early as 10 to 15 years prior to the complete cessation of menses 1. Women may transition in and out of a perimenopausal state before actually entering menopause.
Signs and Symptoms
Many women experience irregular periods, heavy bleeding, hot flashes, sleep disruption, headaches, dry eyes, vaginal changes, hair loss, weight gain, loss of libido or emotional distress. These are all common signs of perimenopause 1. Frequently overlooked signals include lack of concentration and even short term memory impairment. These cognitive effects along with anxiety, fatigue, depression, and extreme mood swings can all be traced back to hormonal fluctuations associated with perimenopause 1. You may be relieved to know that there are solutions to place your body back into balance. You will need to consult your physician to see what solution should work best for you.
- Many women experience irregular periods, heavy bleeding, hot flashes, sleep disruption, headaches, dry eyes, vaginal changes, hair loss, weight gain, loss of libido or emotional distress.
- You may be relieved to know that there are solutions to place your body back into balance.
Signs of Menopause in Women Over 50
The severity of symptoms often seems to be influenced by other outside factors that women place on their bodies during their lifetime. Poor nutrition, chronic stress, and a lack of daily exercise are three major intensifiers. Lifestyle choices such as smoking or drinking are also amplifying factors. Many women fear the presumed end to their reproduction ability. This fear also upsets the hormones and places the body out of a state of balance. It is normal for a woman's body to consistently change or fluctuate during perimenopause, yet it is quite manageable 1.
- The severity of symptoms often seems to be influenced by other outside factors that women place on their bodies during their lifetime.
- This fear also upsets the hormones and places the body out of a state of balance.
Low estrogen levels may leave you more vulnerable to urinary or vaginal infections. Unusual mucus or other substances coming from the vagina is a common problem.
When to see a Doctor
Perimenopause and Cramps
Because subtle symptoms may come on gradually, you may not realize at first that they're all connected to perimenopause 1. Some women may seek immediate medical attention for their symptoms, while other women may not experience any severe changes and therefore simply tolerate their symptoms. If you do experience anything that may interfere with your life or well-being, such as hot flashes, mood swings or heavy bleeding that concern you, see your doctor.
Tests and Diagnosis
Perimenopause is a process, a gradual transition 1. Your doctor takes many things into consideration, including your age, menstrual history, and what symptoms or body changes you're experiencing. Some doctors may order tests to check your hormone levels. Your doctor will want to know detailed descriptions of all of your symptoms as well as any medications you are currently taking. There is no one definitive test or sign to let you know that your are entering perimenopause 1.
Everyone's treatment will vary according different aspects. You will need to consult your doctor for the best treatment available to you.
The most common treatments include oral contraceptives. These are often the most effective treatment to relieve perimenopausal symptoms. Low-dose pills can regulate periods and reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Progestin therapy reduces and regulates heavy bleeding and provides relief during perimenopause 1.
Whether you choose standardized medical treatment, or a natural approach to perimenopause, treatment is available for you 1.
- Everyone's treatment will vary according different aspects.
- Whether you choose standardized medical treatment, or a natural approach to perimenopause, treatment is available for you 1.
Signs of Menopause in Women Over 50
Perimenopause and Cramps
Signs & Symptoms of an Impending Menstrual Cycle
Menopause & Underarm Hair
Home Remedies for Vaginal Dryness
Emotional Symptoms of Low Estrogen
Side Effects of Discontinuing Use of a NuvaRing
Symptoms Your Period Is Coming Soon
How to Know If You Need to Switch Birth Control Pills
Ending Signs of Perimenopause
- Mayo Clinic: Perimenopause
- Everyday Health: Vaginitis -- What Is It?
- Cleveland Clinic. Menopause, Perimenopause and Postmenopause. Updated January 25, 2019.
- Canadian Cancer Society. Treatment-induced menopause.
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Uterine Fibroids. Updated November 2, 2018.
- The North American Menopause Society. The Experts Do Agree About Hormone Therapy.
- Kaunitz AM, Manson JE. Management of Menopausal Symptoms. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(4):859–876. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001058
- Coll-Risco I, Borges-Cosic M, Acosta-Manzano P, Camiletti-Moirón D, Aranda P, Aparicio VA.Effects of concurrent exercise on cardiometabolic status during perimenopause: the FLAMENCO Project. Climacteric. 2018 Dec;21(6):559-565. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2018.1526892. Epub 2018 Nov 5.
- Kulkarni J, Gavrilidis E, Hudaib AR, Bleeker C, Worsley R, Gurvich C.Development and validation of a new rating scale for perimenopausal depression-the Meno-D. Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 28;8(1):123. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0172-0.
- Lizneva D, Yuen T, Sun L, Kim SM, Atabiekov I, Munshi LB, et al. Emerging concepts in the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical care of osteoporosis across the menopausal transition. Matrix Biol. 2018 Oct;71-72:70-81. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2018.05.001.
Based in Southern California, Noelle Cunningham began writing health and lifestyle articles in 2010. She writes primarily for eHow and Answerbag, and she holds a certification in medical assisting from Maric College.