Perimenopause (the period in a woman’s life leading up to menopause) is a normal part of life. Just like puberty and the menstrual cycle, every woman starts perimenopause at a different age and experiences different symptoms.
At Memorial Women’s Specialists, our OB/GYN medical professionals and women’s health specialists offer perimenopause and menopause services at our office in Houston, Texas.
During perimenopause, the ovaries start to produce less estrogen. The process typically begins in the 40s for most women but can begin as early as the 30s.
It can last for several years and ends when the ovaries no longer produce eggs, resulting in menopause. The average age for menopause is around 51 and is usually defined by having gone more than a year without producing eggs and a monthly menstrual cycle.
The perimenopause process can be unpredictable and involves many physical and emotional changes for most women. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and one woman may hardly experience symptoms at all, while another may need help managing some of the more uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms of perimenopause.
Here are five of the most common signs of perimenopause.
In addition to a sudden burst of heat in the face, neck, and torso, hot flashes can also cause sweating, anxiety, and an accelerated heart rate.
The intensity and duration of hot flashes vary from one person to another, but if your hot flashes become intense or disruptive to your daily routine and lifestyle, contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss ways to manage your symptoms.
In the years leading up to menopause, the menstrual cycle can become erratic and unpredictable (even if you’ve always had regular periods). You may notice that your periods are heavier, lighter, or you may even skip a period some months. (Side note: while the chance of conceiving diminishes as women enter perimenopause, it’s still possible to get pregnant during this phase).
Hormonal fluctuations can affect your mood. If you’re noticing unexplained mood swings, perimenopause might be to blame. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is available to help manage lower estrogen levels due to menopause.
Perimenopause is just one of the many factors that can cause fatigue. Like other perimenopause symptoms, hormonal changes can make you feel more tired and less energetic than usual.
As you approach menopause, decreased estrogen production causes thinning of the vaginal tissue, which makes it more prone to irritation and dryness. In addition to HRT, there are several products available to help alleviate vaginal dryness.
For more information about the symptoms of perimenopause and the many women’s health services offered, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Houston office or request an appointment online.