Symptoms of Perimenopause
Throughout the menopause transition, most people may notice some changes in their bodies. Below are some of these changes:
1. Sleeping problems and hot flashes
While hot flashes are expected during the menopause transition, their length, frequency, and intensity vary. Sleep problems will be due to night sweets and hot flashes. However, sleep can sometimes become unpredictable even without the hot flashes and night sweats.
2. Changes in moods
One may experience irritability and mood swings during Perimenopause. There is also an increased risk of depression, often due to the disruption of sleep associated with hot flashes.
3. Bladder and virginal problems
With diminishing estrogen levels, the virginal tissues lose elasticity and lubrication, making penetration during intercourse painful. Low levels of estrogen also increase the risk of virginal and urinary tract infections. Loss of virginal tissue tone also contributes to urinary inconsistencies.
4. Changes in cholesterol levels
Reduced estrogen levels contribute to unfavorable changes in individual blood cholesterol levels, including increased bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein.
5. Irregular menstruation periods
During Perimenopause, ovulation becomes irregular and unpredictable. The time between one’s periods becomes shorter or longer. The flow may also become heavier or lighter while skipping some months.
6. Reduced sex drive
Changes in sexual desire and arousal are common during Perimenopause. However, for those who have satisfactory and pleasurable sexual experiences before the Perimenopause period, this is likely to continue beyond Perimenopause.
When to See a Doctor
While some women may see a doctor when they experience severe Perimenopause symptoms, others don’t experience severe enough symptoms to warrant medical attention. Since the signs are often subtle, most women don’t realize they are all connected to the rising and falling of estrogen and progesterone levels. One should seek medical help if they experience any of the below:
- Extremely heavy periods with blood clots
- Periods that last several days longer than normal
- Spotting between periods
- Periods happening closer together
- Spotting after having intercourse
The perimenopause period lasts until menopause. With the rise and fall of progesterone and estrogen levels, most women experience the above changes. If any of the symptoms interfere with your health and daily activities, ensure you seek medical assistance.