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What Is Perimenopause?

Are you in your mid-thirties and experiencing problems such as unusual fatigue, cramping, difficulty sleeping or irregular periods?

These may be more than just a head cold. You may be experiencing perimenopause.

What Does Perimenopause Mean?

Perimenopause refers to the stage in a woman’s life during which her body begins to make the transition into menopause. During perimenopause, the ovaries produce less estrogen, progesterone levels decline and fertility levels drop. Perimenopause is normal. While every woman undergoes menopause, not every woman will experience the symptoms of perimenopause. Some woman transition to menopause without even knowing it.

Although perimenopause starts several years before actual menopause, it possesses the same symptoms. These symptoms – annoying as they may be – can be managed with the proper supervision and support.

When Does Perimenopause Begin And How Long Does It Last?

In general, this phase of a woman’s life begins in her mid-thirties. That being said, some women experience it even earlier. Perimenopause lasts until a woman’s body goes into full-blown menopause mode – usually around the age of 51. Once you’ve gone a full year with no menstrual cycle, then you have graduated from perimenopause to menopause.

What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause?

Physical – Some symptoms of perimenopause resemble those of both menopause and menstrual cycles. If you regularly have any of the following issues, seeing a doctor is the best way to determine whether what you’re experiencing is indeed perimenopause.

  • Tenderness in your breasts

  • Hot flashes

  • Fatigue

  • Discomfort during intimacy

  • Dryness in the vaginal area

  • Irregular periods

  • Intense PMS

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Urine leakage and/or urgency

Emotional – Not all symptoms of perimenopause are physical; some affect your emotions, as well. Here are a few mental symptoms you might experience with perimenopause.

  • Mood swings

  • Low sex drive

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

It can be difficult to deal with the sudden onset of perimenopause symptoms, especially if you’re one of the unlucky women who is forced to deal with these symptoms earlier than expected. It’s important to talk to your doctor about not only your physical symptoms, but also about these emotional ones. After all, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

What Can I Do To Relieve My Perimenopause Symptoms?

Although it may seem to be, it’s not impossible to manage your perimenopause symptoms and continue with your life. The first step is to talk to your doctor and take into consideration any advice he or she gives you. In addition, the following is a list of simple things you can do to help relieve your symptoms.

  • Stop smoking

  • Drink less alcohol

  • Get enough sleep

  • Exercise regularly

  • Take a multivitamin

  • See a therapist if your emotional symptoms get worse

  • Consider hormone therapy

Should I Get Outside Help?

If you’d like to participate in a program that offers relief from the symptoms of perimenopause, consider Matrix Age Management. Our program takes a preventative approach to health and aging, combining nutrition, exercise and hormone therapy to give you a better quality of life as you age.

Tags: Hormones, Women's Health

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