Perimenopause is the term used to describe the time when a woman begins to show signs of menopause symptoms, but before they have gone a full twelve months without a period. (By this point you are determined to have reached menopause),

Menopause is a biological process that occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop releasing mature eggs and her body produces less estrogen and progesterone.

During perimenopause, your body is beginning the transition into menopause. That means that hormone production from your ovaries is beginning to decline. You may begin to experience some symptoms commonly associated with menopause. Your menstrual cycle may become irregular, but it won’t cease during the perimenopause stage.

Symptoms generally begin to occur between the ages of 40 and 50, with menopause commonly occurring around the age of 51.

Symptoms to look for

You may find that these symptoms come on slowly and you may not initially recognise them as perimenopausal symptoms.

Some of the symptoms you may notice include:

  • mild headaches prior to your period starting
  • Increase in PMS symptoms
  • thinning hair
  • dryness of the skin
  • dryness of the vagina
  • lower sex drive
  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • changes in mood
  • irregular periods
  • weight gain
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