The time leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause. Perimenopause can start anywhere between 10 to 15 years before menopause, and is the time when a woman exhibits the most symptoms that are associated with the menopause process. The age at which perimenopause begins will vary from woman to woman. However, signs of perimenopause can start to show in women between the ages of 45-55, but women as young as 35 have also experienced the onset of perimenopause. Women who exhibit some of the following symptoms are considered by healthcare professionals and doctors to be showing signs of perimenopause.
Night sweats, hot flashes and sudden feelings of coldness are considered one of the biggest signs of perimenopause. Hot flashes, night sweats, and coldness come from the body starting to slowly shut down the ovaries. When the ovaries shut down less estrogen is produced causing the body’s hormone levels to become imbalanced. Hormone imbalances can cause women to feel sudden feelings of warmth which are known as hot flashes. Other signs of perimenopause such as night sweats and coldness are also a direct result of the hormone imbalances a woman has during perimenopause.
Changes in menstrual cycle are considered one of the signs of perimenopause. Women will still continue to have a menstrual cycle during perimenopause, but it will become infrequent and unpredictable due to the lower levels of estrogen. Changes in menstrual cycles can include heavier or lighter periods than normal, occasional spotting between periods, and periods lasting longer or shorter than normal. Some changes in menstrual cycles such as clotting of the blood, missing a period, and having extreme bleeding are not considered signs of perimenopause and can be an indication that there is a serious health problem. A healthcare professional or doctor can help you determine if changes in your menstrual cycle are a sign of perimenopause or an indication of other health issues.
Other signs of perimenopause can include sudden changes in mood, difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, dry skin, dry eyes, vaginal dryness, itching and burning of the vagina, incontinence, and a decrease* in sexual desire. Heart palpitations can also occur during perimenopause, but should be checked out by a healthcare professional as it could be a sign of other serious health issues. The symptoms and signs of perimenopause a woman exhibits will vary from individual to individual. Some women will show all of these signs of perimenopause, while others will only suffer from some of these symptoms.