When we reach our early to mid forties we may find that we have to deal with hormonal changes that may seem confusing when we still have periods. These changes may include mood swings, feelings of irritability and anxiousness. The reason for these changes may be down to the perimenopause. Below we explore what the perimenopause means, the associated signs and symptoms, plus the stages of the perimenopause.
What are the signs of perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the stage before the menopause when hormonal changes to the reproductive cycle begin to take place. This can start as early as the mid thirties and last until your late forties. You will still be having periods, but usually, they will be a shorter cycle because of lowered progesterone levels. Perimenopause will last until your periods have stopped for a length of twelve months, which is when you reach menopause.
So, the perimenopause is the stage before the menopause, that can last anywhere between a few years up to ten years. Just remember that every woman is different. The menopause is when your periods have stopped.
Tracking your menstrual cycle
It can be difficult for a doctor to diagnose the perimenopausal due to fluctuating hormonal levels. However, tracking your menstrual cycle can give you insight into any hormonal changes that are taking place. Mark down on a calendar or diary when your period starts, so that you can count the number of days between periods.
Symptoms of perimenopause
There are many symptoms, but every woman is different and you may experience some or all symptoms. The most common symptoms include the following:
- Your periods are irregular, due to your unpredictable ovulation, and as a result, your period could be longer or shorter in length. You may also experience heavy periods or light bleeding.
- You may have disturbed sleep. You may find it difficult to fall asleep, wake in the night or even wake up early.
- You may feel anxious, depressed or irritable for no apparent reason.
- Hot flushes and night sweats also happen due to these hormonal changes.
- Breasts may also feel sore due to changes and fluctuation in oestrogen levels.
If you are looking for a female gynaecologist in London who you can chat to about your perimenopausal symptoms and to gain advice and treatment options, then please do get in touch with us today.