Some very common menopausal symptoms arise for a length of time before you have your last period. This is a stage known as “perimenopause,” which means “around menopause.” The stage can begin anywhere from your mid-30s and 40s.
Menopause is not a quick physiological change and there are misconceptions about the signs and symptoms associated with the condition. Here are common signs that you may be experiencing Perimenopause.
1. Menstrual Irregularity
Ovulation becomes more unpredictable, and so does the length of time between periods; they may be longer or shorter. Blood flow varies from heavy to light, and you may even skip periods.
2. Hot Flashes
Many women experience hot flashes during perimenopause. Intensity, length, and how often they occur vary. Sleep problems aren’t uncommon with hot flashes due to night sweats.
3. Changes in Mood
During this perimenopause, some women are prone to mood swings, irritability, or increased risk of depression. An erratic sleep schedule could be the cause of these changes, but talk with a doctor about the influence your hormones have as well.
4. Vaginal and Bladder Problems
Your vaginal tissues may lose lubrication and elasticity due to losing estrogen in your system. This can result in painful intercourse and make you predisposed to urinary or vaginal infections. Loss of tissue tone may contribute to urinary incontinence.
5. Decreased Fertility
When ovulation becomes irregular, your ability to conceive decreases. If you’re still having periods, however, you can still get pregnant.
6. Changes in Sexual Desire
While going through perimenopause, sexual desire may change. Hormonal changes may impact sexual arousal, but it doesn’t hold true for every woman.
7. Bone Loss
Shrinking estrogen levels escalate the pace of bone loss more quickly than you replace it. The risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes fragile bones, is raised during perimenopause. You may need to consider supplements or changes in your nutrition as a result.
8. Changing cholesterol levels
Decreasing estrogen levels can mean changes in your blood cholesterol levels. LDL (bad cholesterol) levels may increase due to this, while HDL (good cholesterol) lowers as you age. It is important to monitor your blood pressure levels regularly during this time.
When should you see a doctor?
If you’re concerned about the changes happening in your body during perimenopause, health providers as Pacific Women’s Center are here to make the transition easier for you. Many of the symptoms listed are very normal to experience during the perimenopausal years.