Perimenopause is the transitional
time around menopause. Menopause is when a woman’s periods stop. It’s marked by changes
in the menstrual cycle, along with other physical and emotional symptoms. This time can
last 2 to 10 years. During this time, your body:
Perimenopause is a natural process caused when your ovaries gradually stop working. Ovulation may become erratic and then stop. The menstrual cycle lengthens and flow may become irregular before your final period.
Symptoms are caused by the changing levels of hormones in the body. When estrogen is higher, you may have symptoms like you might have with PMS. When estrogen is low, you may have hot flashes or night sweats. These hormone changes may be mixed with normal cycles.
No two women will experience perimenopause in the same way. These are the most common symptoms:
The symptoms of perimenopause may
look like other health conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you are having symptoms of
perimenopause. Your symptoms, health history, age, and a physical exam may help your
healthcare provider with the diagnosis. You may also have blood tests to measure your
Perimenopause doesn't need to be
treated unless symptoms are bothersome. Treatments may include:
Your healthcare provider may suggest other lifestyle changes:
Discuss other treatments for easing
symptoms with your healthcare provider.
You may hear about herbal
supplements that claim to help manage hot flashes. It’s important to remember that the
FDA does not regulate these supplements. They are not tested like traditional medicines
to prove that they work and are safe to take.
Talk with your healthcare provider
before using any herbal supplements.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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