What is Perimenopause and Menopause?

Perimenopause is the time when hormonal changes occur in your body. Beginning in your late 30's, 40's and early 50's, a disruption in your menstrual cycle may occur many times before menopause. If you are currently experiencing symptoms such as irregular periods, heavy bleeding, hot flashes, sleep disruption, headaches, dry eyes, hair loss, weight gain, or extreme emotional distress, you can be assured that these are all common signs of perimenopause. The hormonal changes which occur during perimenopause are responsible for many of these symptoms. For some, most of the symptoms only last for a few months. For others, no symptoms occur at all. Generally, however, many women feel uneasy during this time; hot flashes, palpitations, fatigue, mood swings and even irrational thinking are among the many signs accompanying perimenopause.

Perimenopause does not often transition into menopause right away. Depending upon the woman, it could take months or even years before menopause occurs. However, the symptoms are influenced by lifestyle. Have you been eating a proper diet and following a regular exercise regimen? Has stress been a major factor in your life? Do you drink or smoke in excess? Any of these factors can have a significant impact on the type of symptoms and their severity that you may experience.

After a period of time, you will eventually become menopausal. What is menopause? It is that point in time, without having had a menstrual period for one year, you are considered to be in the menopause cycle. While the average age is considered to be around 52, menopause can occur at any time between 30 and 60 years of age. The cycle of menopause, as well as the symptoms accompanying menopause can either be difficult or easy. Some women experience no symptoms, while others are plagued with hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, spotting, and the full range of mood swings which invariably occur. Why is there such a wide gap in response to menopause? It is the hormonal imbalances and changes that cause the fluctuation. In addition, diet, lifestyle and genetics also play a major role in determining what type of symptom response will occur.

While perimenopause and menopause are natural to a women's life cycle, neither have to be looked upon with fear or trepidation. Instead, view them both as the beginning of a new phase in your life cycle.

spacer image