What is perimenopause?

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Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the span of years before menopause when your hormone levels and menstrual periods become irregular. It may be called "going through menopause."

After 1 year of having no periods, you've reached menopause (usually around age 50). In the years before menopause, changing hormone levels can cause symptoms. You may have mild symptoms. Or you might have severe symptoms that affect your sleep and daily life. Symptoms can include:

  • Changes in the pattern of your menstrual periods. These may include heavier or lighter blood flows and shorter or longer cycles.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Night sweats and sleep problems.
  • Vaginal itching or dryness. This can cause discomfort during sexual activity.
  • Decreased sex drive.

Symptoms related to mood and thinking may also happen around the time of menopause. These include memory problems, trouble concentrating, depression, anxiety, or mood swings.

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the process of change that leads up to menopause. It can start as early as your late 30s or as late as your early 50s. How long perimenopause lasts varies, but it usually lasts from 2 to 8 years. You may have irregular periods or other symptoms during this time.

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