Perimenopause, or menopause transition, is the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in a woman’s 30s or even earlier.
Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, this decline in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.
All of the hormonal and bodily changes during this time can cause a variety of symptoms that can vary in intensity. These symptoms can include menstrual irregularity, vaginal and bladder problems, sleep problems, changes in sexual functioning, changes in cholesterol levels, bone loss and mood changes. According to the Mayo Clinic, 65 to 75 percent of women have hot flashes. These hot flashes can occur at any time; those that happen at night are typically called night sweats.
During premenopause, most women present the following symptoms:
Righurlt before, or during their menstrual periods, some women complain of having mild to severe cramps.
It’s the most common problem among women in the reproductive years. It could be stress-related, but also estrogen imbalance has been found to be a cause of this symptom.
Mood Swings: Sudden changes in a woman’s disposition are common around her periods.
Depression: Also linked to estrogen imbalance, depression tendency is common among women during their reproductive years.
Irritability: Women tend to get angry easily around their menstrual periods due to PMS.
Nausea: Before their menstrual period, some women feel nauseous as a result of irregular hormone levels in their bodies.
Overeating: Some women feel carbohydrate cravings that consequently lead to overeating during their menstrual periods.
Bloating : Women’s bodies retain more fluids during their menstrual cycles, due to progesterone levels increase.
Changes: Physical and Emotional
Menopause itself is defined as the cessation of the menstrual cycle for 12 months, and it usually occurs around age 50. Perimenopause brings with it a host of well-known effects, including irregular periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep interruption, and irritability.
In addition, women going through the menopausal years are at risk for conditions such as osteoporosis and various forms of heart disease .
Depending on the kind of perimenopausal symptoms and their intensity, treatment may or may not be necessary. The Ohio State University Medical Center lists possible treatments for perimenopause as including antidepressants to help stabilize mood swings, low-dose oral contraceptives to even out hormone levels and progesterone to help treat premenstrual symptoms. The Mayo Clinic adds that some women choose a progestin-releasing intrauterine device, or endometrial ablation, if they are experiencing heavy bleeding during perimenopause.
Fortunately, there are a lot of natural treatments designed to ease pre menopause symptoms.
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