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Perimenopause: The Rocky Road to Menopause

Perimenopause: The Rocky Road to Menopause

Perimenopause, also known as menopausal transition refers to the time period during which a woman's body makes its natural transition towards permanent infertility. Women may experience perimenopause at different ages. For instance, some may notice signs of progression towards menopause sometime in their 40s, while some may even notice changes as early as their mid 30s.

As a woman goes through menopausal transition, her body's production of estrogen and progesterone rises and falls. Most of the changes a woman experiences during perimenopause are a result of decreasing estrogen levels.

Here are some of the changes that a woman might experience:

• Hot flushes and sleep issues
• Mood swings
• Menstrual irregularity
• Vaginal and bladder problems
• Changes in sexual function
• Osteoporosis
• Change in cholesterol levels

There is evidence which suggests that certain factors may make it more likely for perimenopause to set in at an earlier age. For instance:

• The onset of menopause occurs one or two years earlier in women who smoke compared to those who don't smoke
• Women with a family history of early menopause
• Cancer treatment has been linked to early menopause
• Hysterectomy

Here are some of the healthy lifestyle choices that may help to ease some of the symptoms of perimenopause:

• Eating healthy
• Getting regular physical activity
• Getting ample amount of sleep
• Managing stress by practicing stress-reduction techniques

If you experience symptoms that seem to interfere with your daily life such as mood swings or hot flushes, contact your doctor at the earliest!