Perimenopause

A natural stage in life.

Perimenopause is the time in a woman's life when the levels of estrogen and progesterone in her body begin to drop. This normal experience lasts anywhere between 4 and 10 years. It often begins when a woman is in her 40s, but it can start at an earlier age, too.

Menstrual changes—the first sign of perimenopause

One of the first symptoms a woman may notice as she enters perimenopause is changes to her menstrual cycle. Bleeding may become lighter or heavier than usual. The period may last longer or shorter than usual, and periods may come in varying intervals.



Increased bleeding

Many women experience heavy bleeding during perimenopause, due to lower levels of progesterone, which cause the uterine lining to become thicker before shedding. Other health conditions affecting the uterus, like fibroids, could also be responsible for an increase in flow, so a doctor should evaluate any abnormality you may experience.



Perimenopause and pregnancy

Even though her hormone levels are decreasing, a woman may still become pregnant during her perimenopause years. It's important to use birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections during this time.



Perimenopause Symptoms

All women experience symptoms differently but usually, the last 1-2 years of perimenopause when the decline in estrogen speeds up, is when women experience most of the following symptoms:



  • Hot Flashes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Worse premenstrual syndrome
  • Irregular period
  • Fatigue
  • Night Sweats
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Reduced Libido
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Changes in Urinary Frequency
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Anxiety and Depression



Perimenopause is the time in a woman's life when the levels of estrogen and progesterone in her body begin to drop. This normal experience lasts anywhere between 4 and 10 years. It often begins when a woman is in her 40s, but it can start at an earlier age, too.