Perimenopause is a period of time that occurs just before actual menopause when you cease menstruating. During this time, you’ll notice changes in your monthly cycle as estrogen and progesterone levels begin to fluctuate. Some months, your period may come sooner than normal. Others, you might be late. While every woman’s experience is different, knowing what to expect with perimenopause and periods can help you to navigate through this new stage in life.
Prepare for Heavier Periods
Many women struggle with heavy periods at various points in their life, but perimenopause can bring flooding. Technically, a heavy period is one that involves losing 80 mL of menstrual blood. You may suspect that this is happening to you if you consistently run through multiple tampons or pads within a short period of time. Heavy periods put you at risk for serious problems such as anemia, which means you’ll want to reach out to your doctor for help.
Get Ready for Spotting
You may have spotted in the past from various reasons such as changing birth control pills. However, spotting during perimenopause is caused by your body being confused by changing hormone levels. If spotting is new to you, then you’ll want to schedule an appointment to make sure that it isn’t from other causes. If you’ve noticed other changes in your period, then it is likely perimenopause.
Watch for Changes In the Color
Dark or brown blood may become more prevalent during this stage of your life. This is because your body’s hormone levels can disrupt how the blood leaves your uterus. Blood that sticks around in the uterus for too long oxidizes, which is why you see this color. Most likely, you’ll notice this more at the beginning and end of your periods. It can also occur with spotting.
Dealing with spotting, heavy periods and even the surprise missed start date can get frustrating. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any changes that you notice with your cycle. They’ll help to rule out other health problems and suggest ways to make this transition easier. Taking care of yourself can go a long way toward helping to minimize some of these symptoms. Perimenopause doesn’t last forever, but having the right types of support can make it more manageable until your periods eventually end.