Perimenopause is the transitional phase before menopause, which marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It usually begins in a woman’s 40s, but can start as early as her 30s. During this time, the ovaries gradually produce less oestrogen, causing changes in the menstrual cycle and other symptoms.

How Long Does Perimenopause Last?

Perimenopause is the transitional period that precedes menopause, during which a woman’s body undergoes hormonal changes that lead to the cessation of menses. The duration of perimenopause can vary widely among individuals, but on average, it lasts for about 4 to 8 years. However, some women may experience perimenopausal symptoms for a shorter or longer duration.

The variability in the duration of perimenopause is influenced by factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and overall health. It’s recommended for women experiencing symptoms or changes associated with perimenopause to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice and management of symptoms. At 2Me Clinic our friendly team of specialists are on hand to expertly guide you through this period in your life starting with a free 10 minute chat. 

What Causes Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is a natural process that occurs as a woman’s body prepares for menopause. It is caused by a decrease in the level of oestrogen produced by the ovaries.

What are the Symptoms of Perimenopause?

Perimenopause symptoms can vary from woman to woman, but there are some common ones that many women experience. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can affect a woman’s physical and emotional well-being.

Hot Flushes

Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms of perimenopause. They are sudden feelings of intense heat that can cause sweating, flushing, and a rapid heartbeat. Hot flushes can occur at any time of the day or night and can last for a few seconds to several minutes. They are not necessarily  the first symptoms. 

Irregular Periods

As oestrogen levels fluctuate during perimenopause, the menstrual cycle can become irregular. This can mean shorter or longer cycles, heavier or lighter periods, or skipped periods altogether.

Mood Swings

Hormonal changes during perimenopause can also cause mood swings. Women may experience irritability, anxiety, and even depression during this time. Lots of women are treated for depression instead of hormonal deficiency. 

Sleep Disturbances

Many women experience sleep disturbances during perimenopause, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. This can be due to hot flushes, night sweats, or other hormonal changes. When it is not associated with flushes, it is also often misdiagnosed. 

Vaginal Dryness

As oestrogen levels decrease, the vaginal tissues can become thinner and drier, leading to soreness or ‘burning’, itching, dryness, changes in discharge, discomfort during intercourse

Decreased Libido

Hormonal changes can also affect a woman’s sex drive during perimenopause. Many women experience a decrease in libido during this time. 

Weight Gain

Fluctuating hormones can also contribute to weight gain during perimenopause. This can be frustrating for women who are used to maintaining a certain weight.  There is redistribution of fat, leading to a change in shape, with more fat around the middle.

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms of perimenopause may include excessive tiredness, headaches, joint pain, changes in skin and hair, dizziness, ringing in ears (tinnitus), and memory or concentration problems.

How to Manage Perimenopause Symptoms

While perimenopause is a natural process, there are ways to manage the symptoms and make this transition more comfortable.

Lifestyle Changes

Making healthy lifestyle changes can help alleviate perimenopause symptoms. This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Workplace adaptation, communication with healthcare professionals, but also friends and family to get more support and understanding. 

Hormone Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy, also known as HRT, can help manage perimenopause symptoms by replacing the hormones that the body is no longer producing. This can be in the form of pills, patches, sprays, or creams. The Mirena coil can be a good option to use as contraception and hormonal protection of the lining of the uterus. Oestrogen replacement can then be delivered across the skin ‘transdermal’ (through patches, spray or gel) and there is no need to take pills. 

At  2Me Clinic, we have designed a specific consultation that will allow you time to discuss your symptoms and concerns and to produce a personalised management plan.

Alternative Therapies

Some women find relief from perimenopause symptoms through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal supplements, and relaxation techniques.

Medications

Certain medications, such as low-dose birth control pills, can help regulate the menstrual cycle and alleviate symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.

When to See a Doctor

While perimenopause is a natural process, it is important to consult a doctor if you are experiencing severe symptoms that are affecting your daily life. Your doctor can help determine the best course of treatment for your specific symptoms. 

When you book an appointment for a menopause consultation with a 2Me Clinic doctor, you’ll be asked to fill in a questionnaire prior to the consultation. This will help our menopause specialists gather more detailed  information about your symptoms which will help make the most of the consultation time.

As part of our holistic approach to your health, we’ll also offer you the opportunity to speak with our team of specialists in nutrition, mental health and acupuncture.

Perimenopause is a natural transition that occurs in a woman’s body as she approaches menopause. It is a time of hormonal changes that can cause a variety of symptoms, including hot flushes, irregular periods, mood swings, low libido and often sleep disturbances. While these symptoms can be uncomfortable, there are ways to manage them through lifestyle changes, hormone therapy, alternative therapies, and medications. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor for proper treatment. With the right management, perimenopause can be a more comfortable and manageable experience.

We hope you found this article helpful and if you would like more advice book a 10 minute FREE chat with us at https://2meclinic.com/book-online/

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