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Hello Carrie,

Perimenopause is the normal transition period in every woman's reproductive cycle. The symptoms are generally similar, but each woman can experience some or all, and begin the having the signs as early as the late 30s to about age 50.

During perimenopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate. The result is irregular menstrual cycles. As ovulation becomes more unpredictable, the length of time between periods may be longer or shorter, your flow may be light to heavy, and you may skip some periods.

Some women experience hot flashes. Sleep problems occur and are often due to hot flashes or night sweats. With night sweats, you wake up with your night clothes drenched in perspiration.

You might experience mood swings, be increasingly irritable or have periods of depression.

Low estrogen levels lead to vaginal dryness which can make intercourse painful. Sexual arousal and desire may change. You are risk for osteoporosis. The drop in estrogen is linked to increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the good cholesterol. This may increase the risk for heart disease.

You have reached menopause once you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months.


August 3, 2014 - 7:11am


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