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Perimenopause Information – What is Perimenopause?
To put it simply, perimenopause is the transition into menopause.
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 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. 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.
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.