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Starting pre-menopause

By July 18, 2014 - 2:25am
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I have searched and searched for information regarding when to expect perimenopause to set in, the transition period leading to menopause (last period), how many years is it likely to be?

I'm 52.5 years old, still having regular periods (and ovulating), no particular symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, etc. Though I have hot flashes during my period and experience some sleep disturbances (but that coincided with my mother passing away 3 years ago, so I'm not sure whether it's linked to pre-menopause, or not).

Menopause is a major event in a woman's life, and I would very much like to prepare for it, in terms of medical decisions and life style changes, etc. From the day my period is no longer regular and/or I start experiencing other menopause symptoms – when can I expect menopause to set in, 1 year? 3 years?

I much appreciate some information on this – thanks. :)

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July 31, 2014 - 1:27pm

Thanks a lot, Erin,
then I suppose my menopause is likely to occur somewhere in my mid-fifties, as I haven't experienced any of the symptoms you are mentioning yet. Though I understand that it's a slight chance that it could happen "overnight", within a few months time after the first symptoms set in (getting irregular periods, etc. ), since some women experience a very short perimenopause. I suppose, if testing my estrogen and progesterone levels, that could give a more precise indication?
kind regards, OsloGirl

July 21, 2014 - 7:12am
HERWriter Blogger

Hi OsloGirl,

Thank you for sharing your question on EmpowHER! Menopause is a huge change in a women's life and I'd love to help give you information to help prepare for it in the best way possible. :)

Perimenopause is the period that transitions women into menopause. This transition period begins years before actual menopause and starts when the ovaries produce less and less estrogen and progesterone.

All women experience perimenopause and different times in their lives as all women's bodies are different. Most often it begins in the 40s, but some women begin experiencing perimenopause symptoms as early as their late-30s and some experience it in their 50s. The length of perimenopause also differentiates between women, but typically it lasts around 4 years. Some women experience perimenopause for only a few months or for more than 4 years. 

Perimenopause officially ends one year after menopause starts, or when a women hasn't had a menstrual cycle for a full 12 months. 

While some women don't experience perimenopause symptoms, some have very unpleasant and uncomfortable ones. Some common symptoms you may want to look out for include headaches, irregular menstrual flows or changes in your menstrual cycle schedule, skipping periods, hot flashes, sweating, night sweats, and heart palpitations. Some symptoms will definitely seem more pronounced than others. Vaginal dryness, decline in sex drive and mood swings may also occur during perimenopause. 

This EmpowHER article gives some more helpful information about perimenopause and perimenopause symptoms to look out for: http://www.empowher.com/perimenopause/content/symptoms-perimenopause.

Having a solid knowledge about why perimenopause occurs and what its symptoms are will help you better prepare for perimenopause before it starts. It might be good to talk to your doctor too. They could also provide tips to help you be prepared for perimenopause.

I hope this helped give you more information about perimenopause. Don't hesitate to ask more question on EmpowHER when you begin perimenopause or if you have further questions! :)

Our perimenopause and menopause condition pages also have some great articles and other resources to check out for more information:



July 20, 2014 - 1:15pm
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