In the not-so-distant past, perimenopause and menopause were topics that were not discussed. Women had no idea if the symptoms they were having were related to menopause or not. Women going through perimenopause were referred to as "going through the change" in a somewhat hushed tone that implied "this isn't a caterpillar to butterfly change". They were left alone, avoided, and generally treated as if they had a temporary psychosis.
Today, women share their experiences so they can educate themselves and others. We learn for ourselves and to help our sisters and daughters be better prepared for these periods of time in their lives.
You don't have to go through this alone, and you absolutely don't have to suffer. Read through our perimenopause guide; filled with medically certified information on perimenopause, perimenopause symptoms and how to manage them, and when to get medical treatment.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a natural transition into menopause. Just as we transitioned into fertility, women also transition out of fertility. In childhood, we started without periods. At the end of menopause, we end up without periods. Perimenopause is something that many women may not be aware of, even if they have gone through it themselves. Perimenopause is one of the normal stages in a woman's life, but it's neither an event nor a disease.
The fertility cycle ends much as it begins way back in childhood, with the absence of menstrual periods. Actual menopause, when there have been no periods at all for about 12 months, happens most commonly in a woman's early 50's. The hormones going through our bodies regulate more than just our periods. Hormones are produced in many areas of our body and are involved in regulating such things as your moods, your blood pressure and blood sugar and your appetite.
The ovaries may be small, but they are incredible producers. They produce estrogen, progesterone and androgen. Estrogen is linked with protection against heart disease, osteoporosis, dry skin, wrinkling, and colon cancer. Decreased hormones can cause lack of bladder control, vaginal dryness and associated painful intercourse may be related to decreased estrogen levels.
The time before menopause, which lasts up to 10-15 years for some, is evocative of the roller coaster of puberty. While puberty represents a hormone production that is spiraling upwards, perimenopause is when the hormone production spirals downwards.
The effects are very much the same with one exception. Women are far more prepared for menstruation and fertility than they are for perimenopause and menopause. It's no wonder most women feel alone and confused once the symptoms of perimenopause appear!
Sadly, the changes brought on by this important time are often ignored. Mothers may prepare their daughters for puberty and the changes it brings, but rarely address those at the other end of the spectrum. It's not surprising to find out that many women end up in the middle of perimenopause without the information needed to meet it head-on.
Use the following information to help you understand and manage your symptoms and the changess your body is going through.
What Are The Symptoms of Perimenopause?
Just like every other facet of the human body, the symptoms of perimenopause vary from woman to woman. Most symptoms are fairly general with the main difference being intensity. Find out if you are experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause.
Managing the Symptoms of Perimenopause
Many of the symptoms of perimenopause can be managed by following a few basic guidelines. You can dramatically reduce your discomfort and prepare for menopause.
Medical Treatment to Help Your Perimenopause Symptoms
Once the symptoms of perimenopause start, it is important to work with your doctor. They need to know what you are doing regarding your health, and they in turn can help you if the alternative therapies arent enough.