In the not-so-distant past, perimenopause and menopause were topics that were rarely 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, implying that it wasn't a transformative process like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. They were left feeling alone, avoided, and generally treated as experiencing temporary psychosis.
Fast forward to today, and women openly share their experiences to educate themselves and others. We want to learn for ourselves and help our sisters and daughters be better prepared for these transitional phases in their lives.
But you don't have to face this journey alone, and suffering in silence is no longer necessary. Explore our comprehensive perimenopause guide, which provides medically certified information on perimenopause, perimenopause symptoms and how to manage them, and when to get medical treatment.
Key Points of Perimenopause Symptoms
- Perimenopause is a natural transition into menopause and a significant phase in a woman's life.
- Women may experience many symptoms and hormonal changes, which can affect mood, bladder control, and vaginal health.
- Consulting with a healthcare provider is important for comprehensive care during perimenopause.
- Sharing experiences and knowledge about perimenopause with those close to you helps women educate themselves and support others.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a natural transition into menopause. Just as we transitioned into fertility, women also transition out of fertility. From childhood, we started without periods, and at the end of menopause, periods cease entirely. However, 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 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 50s. The hormones coursing through our bodies regulate more than just our menstrual cycles. Hormones are produced in many areas of our body and are involved in regulating such things as your moods, blood pressure, blood sugar, and appetite.
Although the ovaries may be small, they are remarkable hormone producers. They generate estrogen, progesterone, and androgen. Estrogen is linked with protection against heart disease, osteoporosis, dry skin, wrinkling, and colon cancer. Decreased hormone levels can cause a lack of bladder control, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse, which may be related to decreased estrogen levels.
The time before menopause, which lasts up to 10-15 years for some, is evocative of the rollercoaster of puberty. While puberty represents 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!
Unfortunately, the changes brought on by this crucial phase are often overlooked. Mothers may prepare their daughters for puberty and the changes it brings, but they rarely address those at the other end of the spectrum. So, 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 gain a better understanding of perimenopause, manage the symptoms, and navigate the changes your body is undergoing.
What Are the Symptoms of Perimenopause?
Just like every other facet of the human body, perimenopause symptoms can vary from woman to woman. Most symptoms are fairly general with the main difference being intensity. Perimenopause symptoms include both physical and emotional changes that can affect women differently. From hot flashes to mood swings, understanding the specific symptoms you may be encountering is crucial to managing this transitional phase. Find out if you are experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause.
Managing the Symptoms of Perimenopause
While perimenopause symptoms can be a bit of an annoyance, there are ways you can decrease those symptoms. Many of the symptoms of perimenopause can be managed by following a few basic guidelines. By following these guidelines, you can potentially dramatically reduce your discomfort and prepare for menopause. Remember, it's always recommended to speak to your healthcare provider as every woman's body differs.
Medical Treatment to Help Your Perimenopause Symptoms
Once perimenopause symptoms begin, it is important to work with your doctor to navigate this phase. They need to know what you are doing regarding your health, and they in turn can help you if the alternative therapies arent enough. It's crucial to keep your doctor informed, as they can provide even more guidance and offer additional treatment if needed. Remember, even though this is a new phase in your life, it doesn't mean that you have to suffer through it.
The information provided in this article should not be considered professional medical advice. Moms Who Think holds no responsibility for any potential consequences that may arise from your decisions regarding medical matters. It is your responsibility to conduct your own research and verify any information you find on the Internet. It is strongly advised to consult with a medical professional before making any health decisions.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Tad Denson/Shutterstock.com.