The term “perimenopause” refers to the time when the effects of hormonal change start to become evident, with indications such as the disappearance after menstruation. These terms are used to refer to the menopausal transition phase before the effects solidify completely when the levels of reproductive hormones become more variable and the effects of these fluctuations are significant.
What About Premenopause?
You may also hear the term ‘Premenopause’, which can last for 10 years or more. This refers to the whole period preceding menopause (encompassing perimenopause) where a woman will still have periods (irregular and regular) and is still considered to be in her reproductive years. During this time running up to perimenopause there is often no noticeable change, despite underlying hormone changes. This premenopause stage encompasses the perimenopause stage, where symptoms become noticeable and ends one year after the last menstrual cycle – which is the official date of menopause.
When To Expect This Change
Women begin to experience symptoms of the menopause transition, or perimenopause as early as the age of 35, although most don’t become aware of the transition until they reach their mid to late forties. Often the timing of this phase is similar to the time when a woman’s mother went through the same transition. However, the length of time and severity of menopause-related symptoms for any individual woman cannot be predicted, and every menopause is unique. Genetic and environmental factors are an important factor in determining when a woman may enter the menopause/.
What are the Symptoms of Perimenopause?
Common symptoms during this phase of hormonal fluctuation can include:
- Irregular periods
- Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual
- Mood swings
- Anger and irritability
- Heart palpitations
- Memory loss
- Hot flushes
- Night Sweats
- Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
- Breast tenderness
- Aches and painful joints
- Frequent headaches
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal dryness
- Dry skin
- Low libido
How Do We Treat All Stages of Menopause?
As a woman moves through each phase of menopause, hormone levels can fluctuate significantly, however, these vital hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone remain important for bones, vaginal and urethral health, skin, brain function and cardiovascular health. It is therefore important to effectively balance and replenish these hormones in order to maintain a woman’s health, energy, mood and brain function.
As every woman is unique, so are her hormones. Every woman has her ‘own’ menopause and thus every hormone solution is specifically designed for her.