Perimenopause usually happens several years before menopause. This happens when the body slows down the making of estrogen. It usually starts in the mid-40s.
Perimenopause continues till a woman reaches menopause, a condition when the body stops releasing eggs naturally. If you haven’t got your menstrual period for consecutive 12 months, you have officially reached the menopause condition. Menopause is officially the end of perimenopause.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
Throughout the perimenopause period, women experience some changes in their bodies. Perimenopause may often go unnoticed in some women. But it is important that women take care of their bodies, more so during perimenopause, since their body is transforming slowly.
Here are some symptoms of Perimenopause:
In perimenopause, your ovulation will become unpredictable, your periods’ duration may become longer or shorter, your flow may become heavy or light and also, you may skip your periods for a few months. If the delay in the period cycle is around seven days, then you are in your early perimenopause. If such a difference has reached a gap of 60 days, then it’s more likely a situation of post perimenopause.
Vaginal and bladder problems:
Your intercourse may become painful during perimenopause because of a decrease in estrogen level, which causes loss of elasticity and lubrication in the vagina. Low estrogen may lead to vaginal or urinary infections.
Loss of bone density:
With the decrease in estrogen level, women start losing bone density quickly compared to their replacement; this increases the risk of osteoporosis. It is a disease that makes your bones fragile.
Decrease in fertility:
Because of irregular ovulation, fertility chances decrease in a woman. However, as long as you get periods, you can still get pregnant. Hence, it is advisable to continue using birth control measures during perimenopause to avoid accidental pregnancies.
When to consult a doctor
An irregular period is a common situation during perimenopause. But you should consult your doctor if you notice below mentioned changes in your body:
- Heavy periods with blood clots
- Longer duration of the menstrual cycle than usual.
- The spot between periods.
- Spotting after sex.