Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Perimenopause

Get Email Updates

Perimenopause Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

The Symptoms of Perimenopause

By Stacy Lloyd HERWriter
 
Rate This
The Symptoms of Perimenopause 4 5 2
Perimenopause related image
Photo: Getty Images

Perimenopause is when a woman begins transitioning into menopause. It starts several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal fluctuations cause the body to experience numerous changes.

Also called pre-menopause, it usually starts in the 40s, but some women begin noticing signs in their 30s, and others in their early 50s.

The average length of perimenopause is four years, but for some it lasts only a few months or as long as 10 years. Perimenopause ends the first year after menopause, which is when a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual cycle.

Many women don't experience any perimenopause symptoms. For others, they can be extremely unpleasant. The following symptoms are signs of perimenopause:

The most common is changes in the menstrual cycle. As ovulation fluctuates, it can be a longer or shorter time between periods and/or irregular flow. Some even skip periods.

Headaches can increase for women in perimenopause.

Hot flashes, sweating and heart palpitations are other symptoms. Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of intense heat over the entire body which can be followed by day or night sweats. The intensity, length and frequency may vary.

Other women skip the heat and have cold flashes and clamminess.

These flashes can cause sleep problems. But sleep can be challenging even without them which can lead to fatigue.

Some women get lumpy breasts or experience breast tenderness. Another symptom is the worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

During perimenopause, sexual arousal and libido may change. Add to that, surveys report 30 to 40 percent of perimenopausal women experience vaginal dryness. When estrogen levels decline, vaginal tissues can lose elasticity and lubrication. This can lead to discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.

Low estrogen levels may also leave women more vulnerable to urinary or vaginal infections. Loss of tissue tone may also cause urine leakage when coughing or sneezing; urinary urgency and/or frequency.

Dips in estrogen don’t just cause vaginal dryness; dry eyes can be another symptom of perimenopause.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Irregular menstrual periods can be disruptive, especially if it is accompanied by severe PMS and heavy bleeding. To help manage these symptoms, I have identified 5 natural solutions you can use to your menstrual woes. Before you try any of these, I would strongly advise that you seek the opinion of your doctor – this is to make sure that you do not have any pre-existing medical condition or are not taking any medication or substances that can interact negatively with these remedies. www.womenshealth123.com

October 12, 2011 - 3:30pm
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1988 Health

Changed

839 Lives

Saved

716 Lives
40 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Have you had perimenopausal symptoms? :
View Results