Perimenopause means the time around menopause and indicates the time during which one’s body is making the transition to non-menstrual age marking the end of the reproductive cycle. At times this menopause transition begins several years before the actual menopause because the ovaries start producing less estrogen and last till menopause when the ovaries stop producing eggs.
The average length of perimenopause is about four years but it can last anywhere from a few months to 10 years as well. If one lasts around 12 months without periods, one is no longer perimenopausal.
Signs or symptoms of perimenopause are as follows:-
- Hot flashes – It is a sudden feeling of heat, sometimes a flushed face and sweating.
- Breast tenderness
- Lower sex drive
- Irregular Periods
- Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing
- Mood swings
- Vaginal Dryness
One needs to consult the doctor as soon as they experience such symptoms. The doctor will be able to diagnose the condition as per the symptoms and may even order some blood tests to check hormone levels.
One common question among women is if they’ll be able to get pregnant if they are perimenopausal. Doctors say yes, it is possible to get pregnant in the perimenopausal stage despite a decline in infertility.
Though there is no particular treatment to stop perimenopause, there are some methods or lifestyle habits through which women can ease the symptoms:-
- Taking low-dose birth control pills for a short time provides relief from hot flashes. (Pills must be taken after doctor consultation)
- Other options that may control hot flashes include a vaginal ring, progesterone injections and a birth control skin patch.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA dietary supplement can be used as per instructions from the doctor
- Exercising regularly may also help.
- Correcting the sleep cycle and getting enough sleep is recommended.
- Getting enough calcium in your diet is also recommended.
- Quitting smoking and drinking less alcohol may also help.