Perimenopause and Menopause
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Are you confused about the difference between menopause and perimenopause? Does the prospect of the “change of life” seem scary?
Are you worried about what signs and symptoms you should look out for and expect?
Don’t worry, we got you!
In this blog post we’ll be outlining what menopause and perimenopause are, how they are different, what signs to look out for, and what to expect.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a totally natural process, where your ovaries will stop releasing eggs, and your menstruation cycle ends. [potential to link to Getting To Know Your Menstruation Blog Post]
Menopause is typically defined when you’ve missed 12 consecutive months of your period, with no other obvious causes. Your levels of estrogen decrease as your body no longer has to produce the necessary hormones and chemicals needed for ovulation.
Menopause typically takes place in your 40s and 50s - the average age for women going through menopause is 51 years old.
Everyone’s experience of menopause is different.
Generally the first symptoms you will notice is changes to your periods like:
- you’re having heavy bleeding
- your periods are really close together
- you are experiencing spotting between periods
- you have longer than normal periods
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause literally means “around menopause”. Perimenopause is the transition phase around and leading up to menopause, and can last from 4-8 years. It starts with changes in the length of time between your periods and ends 1 year after the final menstrual period.
Many who experience menopause don’t experience any physical changes during perimenopause except irregular periods, but for some, symptoms include:
- hot flashes
- irregular, heavy, or missed periods
- trouble sleeping
- bladder problems: more prone to UTIs or urinary incontinence
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- painful sex
- decrease in fertility
- changes in sex drive
- loss of bone
- changing cholesterol levels
- mood swings
- weight gain
- thinning hair
How Do I Tell If I am in Menopause or Perimenopause?
- Am I in the right age demographic? (40-50)
- Have I been experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, bladder problems)?
- Have I been experiencing irregular, heavy, or missed periods?
ft. Jen Lynch, Certified Nurse Midwife
In this episode, Jen breaks down the transition to perimenopause and all of the things that can be done to make this transition comfy as possible.