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9 Symptoms of Perimenopause

9 Symptoms of Perimenopause

While many girls get at least a bare bones education about their bodies and the impending changes that will be brought about by puberty — even if it’s only through that embarrassing “health” class taught be your fifth grade teacher — most women get very little education about the changes their bodies will go through between puberty and menopause. Perimenopause, that 10-15 year period prior to menopause, brings tremendous change to a woman’s body. The change in the production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and the androgens create a variety of symptoms that impact both a woman’s body and her mental/emotional sense of well-being. Being able to identify these changes as they happen to you, and knowing that these changes are well within the experience of “normal,” can quell some of the fear and anxiety of living in a maturing female body. Here are some common indicators that your body is in the perimenopausal transition:

  1. Period changes: These changes can include a lengthening or shortening of the number of days in between periods, heavier or lighter flow, and missing a period entirely. A woman is considered to have undergone menopause when she hasn’t had a period for at least one year.
  2. Hot flashes and night sweats.
  3. Disrupted sleep: This can be related to the above or may happen without night sweats. In addition to waking in the middle of the night, many women have problems falling asleep.
  4. Mood swings: Ranging from irritability to severe depression, the hormonal changes of perimenopause strike at women’s emotional health.
  5. Vaginal dryness: This dryness can result in painful sex unless a sufficient amount of an appropriate lubricant is used.
  6. Increased fat around the waist: Hey, at least there’s an excuse! Still, excess stomach fat is a health risk and should be addressed by a healthful diet and consistent exercise.
  7. Urinary problems: Lower estrogen levels can result in vaginal and urinary problems.
  8. Memory and concentration problems: Taking a vitamin B supplement can help reduce these problems.
  9. Bone loss: Osteoporosis risks increase during this stage of life. It is recommended that women take a baseline bone density test around the age of 40 so that bone health can be monitored and treated as needed.

By knowing these symptoms, supporting your body with good health common sense: eat well, exercise, get rest, have a trustworthy healthcare provider, and maintain mutually loving relationships in your life, you’ll be able to meet this transition with a measure of grace, strength and wisdom.

Related:
How Bio-Identical Hormones Can Help Women Before & After Menopause
Menopause: Prepare, Treat and Embrace
The Bright Side of Menopause

Read more: Depression, General Health, Gynecology, Health, Menopause, Women's Health, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

89 comments

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8:31AM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

I hadn't realised that peri-menopause started so far in advance of the thing itself. Interesting.

5:48PM PST on Nov 15, 2012

good

6:01PM PDT on May 26, 2012

Good one Charlene S. Ain't that the truth!!!

6:00PM PDT on May 26, 2012

The hot flashes did drive me bonkers as you have to be period free for 1 year before you can begin HRT therapy so by the time I was done with my periods I was more than ready and had a Dr.s appt lined up. I have a fantastic gyno and within 20 minutes, I never had a hot flash or a bad hair day since. I only was on HRT for 3 years and have been off dor close to 2 years and I coulf never thank God enough for that!

3:14PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Wish men understood what women have to go through.

10:23AM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Wish the female body came with an "owner's manual"!

2:06AM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Great article. Thanks for sharing

2:31PM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

thx

1:16PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Thank you

1:11AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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