The menopause transition years, when a woman’s body ability to produce reproductive hormones diminishes; the period short of actual menopause is known as Perimenopause.
Usually Perimenopause symptoms start to appear when a woman reaches her early forties, however they can appear as early as age 35 among some women.
It is not unusual for Perimenopause symptoms to appear and last for as long as 10 years for some women. The duration and severity of the symptoms may vary from person to person; in general, the following are thought to be Perimenopause symptoms:
The Hot Flashes: This is usually the most observable and common of the Perimenopause symptoms. The hot flash or hot flush as it is also known happens when a woman’s body temperature suddenly and significantly rises by several degrees.
There may be a feeling of acute discomfort, sweating, and feelings of weakness, however hot flashes are not otherwise considered harmful or in any way detrimental to health.
Night Sweats: When these hot flash episodes occur at night, they are known as night sweats that could result in waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat causing discomfort and this can result in sleep disturbances and feelings of tiredness and lassitude during the day.
Many women also experience difficulty in getting sleep, or experience spells of wakefulness and fitful sleep.
Changes in menstrual periods: Among the common Perimenopause symptoms is change in menstrual periods. The monthly period of a woman may change during this time. It may become longer, or shorter; lighter or heavier; in short, change and irregularity are noted.
Mood swings: Some women display what are understood to be the classic symptoms of the menopausal women, and may find themselves becoming anxious, depressed and irritable, veering between extreme mood swings at times. These are also common Perimenopause symptoms.
Changes in skin or hair: Skin may appear to be dry and lifeless; similarly hair, including body hair can also appear dry and course. Hair loss is also not uncommon.
Loss of Libido: Perimenopause is the time when there are great hormonal changes in a woman’s body which is why one of Perimenopause symptoms could be loss of sex drive.
There could be reduced vaginal lubrication and this vaginal dryness could be the cause of painful sex and consequently decreased libido. Some women also experience incontinence, which is the inability to control the passage of urine.
Heart Palpitations: Some women find that heart palpitations are among the Perimenopause symptoms that they experience.
With Perimenopause symptoms it is important that they be differentiated from other medical conditions such as thyroid problems which can appear the same and may be mistaken for Perimenopause symptoms.
It is vital the underlying reason for the appearance of the symptoms be uncovered so that appropriate treatment is obtained. If you suspect that it is perimenopause symptoms you are experiencing, you should have them evaluated to confirm that it is indeed the transition into menopause that is the cause.