Menstrual Health, Personal Care, Sexual Health, Sexual Hygiene

Perimenopause – Symptoms, Treatments

What is perimenopause?

Menopause isn’t something that happens one day and then disappears. The body must go through a menopausal transition,’ which is distinguished by a number of symptoms, and this period is known as perimenopause. ‘Around menopause’ is a literal translation of the term.

When does it usually occur?

When it comes to hormonal changes in the body, such as a decrease in oestrogen levels, they can begin 8 to 10 years before menopause. Most women show evidence of this in their 40s, although some can show signs as early as their mid-thirties.

Most women experience perimenopause when their oestrogen levels begin to drop in their mid to late 40s. If a menstrual cycle fluctuates by seven or more days or if a period occurs at least once every three months, it can be recognised.

How long does it last?

Perimenopause lasts about 4 years on average. It can last as little as a few months or two years in some ladies, or up to ten years in others. If a woman has gone 12 months without having a period, a doctor will confirm the end of the perimenopausal phase.

Perimenopause symptoms

Symptoms are varied and may include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Heavier or lighter than normal flow
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms are worsened
  • Tender breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes and palpitations
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches and muscle aches
  • Loss of libido or sex drive
  • Difficulty in concentrating or remembering things
  • Vaginal dryness and frequent UTIs
  • Lowered bladder capacity or urinary incontinence
  • Fertility issues
  • Changes in cholesterol levels

What are the treatment options for perimenopause?

To alleviate the symptoms of perimenopause, there are numerous therapy options available. They are as follows:

  • Hormone Therapy – The abrupt decline in oestrogen levels creates unpleasant symptoms in the body, with the added benefit of a lower risk of osteoporosis. Oral pills, lotions, gels, and skin patches can all be used to deliver this hormone to the body. Hot flashes are occasionally treated with progesterone injections.
  • Medication – To treat varied symptoms, a variety of medications are used. Hot flashes and mood swings can be treated with birth control, and antidepressants can be used for problematic PMS symptoms including emotional imbalance. Prescription vaginal creams are offered to treat vaginal dryness.
  • Home Remedies – While medical therapy is an option, there are various things that may be done at home to lessen the symptoms’ effects. Exercising, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol intake, having a regular sleep cycle, getting enough calcium, and eating a balanced diet are some of the things that can help you lose weight. For many women, limiting caffeine use can be advantageous.

Premenopause vs perimenopause

People often use both the terms interchangeably, however, there is a difference between the two.

  • Premenopause: This is the time in a woman’s life when she begins to transition into the menopausal stage of life. It differs from perimenopause in that there are usually no apparent changes or symptoms associated with menopause. Her body, on the other hand, may be undergoing hormonal changes already. Even if the person does not have regular periods, she is still regarded to be in her reproductive years, but on the decline.
  • Perimenopause: This is when she enters her menopausal years for the first time. The difference is that hormonal changes happen more quickly, and there are a variety of symptoms that can appear as her fertility begins to wane.

Can you get pregnant during perimenopause?

Even with reduced fertility, a woman can conceive during her perimenopausal years. Conceiving gets more difficult after she reaches her late thirties, but because her ovaries are continuously producing eggs, a pregnancy is still possible.

If you don’t want to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to use birth control. If getting pregnant is the objective, there are a variety of fertility treatment alternatives to consider.

How is perimenopause different from menopause?

Perimenopause is the period between menopause and the onset of menopause. During the perimenopausal phase, menstruation continues, and a number of symptoms begin to signal the rapid drop in hormone levels.

Some of the symptoms are similar to those associated with menopause. However, a lady is deemed to be in menopause when she hasn’t bled for 12 months in a row.

What can cause perimenopause to start earlier than usual?

Even though menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life, certain events can cause her to enter the perimenopausal stage early. These are some of them:

  • Smoking
  • If there is a pattern of early menopause running in the family
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Hysterectomy or the removal of the uterus

When to see a doctor?

The symptoms can usually be managed at home, however if any of the following situations arise, a doctor should be consulted:

Heavy bleeding that necessitates changing tampons, pads, or draining menstrual cups every hour or two

  • Your periods last more than seven days.
  • Between your menstrual periods, you may experience bleeding.

           a cycle that lasts less than 21 days

  • After sex, there is bleeding and the formation of larger than normal blood clots.

Apart from that, if the symptoms become serious and start to interfere with daily living, a doctor should be consulted.

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