Perimenopausal Signs and Symptoms

Q: What are some of the signs and symptoms of perimenopause?

A: The average age of menopause is 51 years old, but the gradual transition until your body reaches menopause, known as perimenopause, can last as long as 10 years. Even if you are a 40 year old woman, you may still be entering this phase of your life.

The most common symptoms are:
Irregular menstrual periods
Heavy bleeding
Hot flashes and night sweats
Memory difficulties (fuzzy thinking)
Mood swings

Unfortunately, there’s not a test that your doctor can do to definitively diagnose perimenopause; however, if you are in the appropriate age group and are having any of these symptoms, make sure to bring them up with your doctor. Many of these symptoms are vague and could be attributed to other conditions that may not have been diagnosed or managed properly.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at


Sam Dyson
Sam Dyson1 months ago


Rhonda C.
Rhonda BC2 years ago


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers2 years ago

Thank you.

Sophie Addison
Sophie Addison3 years ago

Thanks for great read.
Hot flashes and night sweats are very common symptoms of menopause.

Dee D.
Dolores D.3 years ago


Tania Vega
Tania Vega4 years ago


Jean Sleigh
Jean Sleigh4 years ago

Or, from another Care2 article, I could just be over stressed and not coping........... read here: - which could also be true! Sigh, makes me feel better but so much contradiction - oh well............. :)

Jean Sleigh
Jean Sleigh4 years ago

I'm now dead sure I'm entering (or actually have been) in perimenopause for at least 4 years already and... I AM 39 NOW... so roughly from 34-35 I've been having 'hotter' moments than my friends - continual sweaty armpits/face/back :( Fitful sleep - waking up feeling as if a bus has ridden over me after 7-8 hours. Hairs on my chin! Yuk! Random pimples too! :( And the fatigue... sigh, tired all the time accompanied by the feeling of rushing and trying to remember to do 101 things! Not fun, so I'm wondering how I'll be at 55............................... EEEKKK!!!! (Am too nervous to go to Doc in fear of what he/she will prescribe or advise....)

Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel4 years ago

thanks for the article

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

good to know