Perimenopause is the time period which precede menopause and is something all women will undergo in their middle age. It can be a period of discomfort for some women although many are able to tolerate the changes rather well. However, recognizing perimenopause symptoms will enable a person to tackle some of its discomforts as well as be ready for certain future adversities.
What happens during perimenopause?
During perimenopause the hormonal balance in the body will shift and the estrogen levels will gradually fall to an all time low. As this is the most influential hormone in relation to the ovulatory cycle, menstruation, maintenance of tonicity in the tissues of the reproductive tract…etc, it will have a varied manifestations related to these aspects. Furthermore, the hormonal changes could make a person susceptible to undue stress, infections, psychological alterations as well as many other anatomical changes that need recognition during this period.
What are the features of early perimenopause?
During early perimenopause the menstrual cycle will start to become irregular. According to the Mayo Clinic, when the interval between two cycles changes to more than 7 days, it is considered to be a feature of early perimenopause. At the same time, women may begin to feel the hot flushes to a certain extent and it may gradually worsen towards the end of the perimenopause. Sleep disturbances may also begin to manifest although may not be as troublesome as it would be in the late perimenopause.
It is rather common to see women becoming more irritable and moody during this period and as with other symptoms these will also progress towards becoming worse.
What are the features of late perimenopause?
Late perimenopause can be characterized by changes in the frequency of ovulation or menstruation which happens more than 90 days apart. This would mean that a person may not have periods for almost 2 to 3 months and the volume and the duration of periods could also have changed significantly.
During this time, the hot flashes may have grown worse and it could disrupt sleep in most women. As a result, these females are more stressed, irritable, could have lack of energy and sometimes depressed in their thought process. According to an article published in the ADAM medical encyclopedia, these women will undergo mood swings, forgetfulness, as well as frequent bouts of headache during this period.
The lack of lubrication and elasticity in the vagina may adversely affect the sexual interactions and it can give rise to pain and could increase the susceptibility of the female towards developing vaginal and urinary tract infections as well.
By the time a female reaches the late perimenopause the depletion of bone density could also have accelerated to its peak and therefore they could be more susceptible towards osteoporosis later in life unless calcium replenishment has not been done.
Lack of sexual desire and arousal is another manifestation related to the perimenopausal age although it may not be apparent in all women.
Furthermore, the changes in hormonal balance could also affect the person’s cholesterol constituency in the blood and therefore the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol levels could be high among some females in the late perimenopausal age.