Perimenopause is the period, leading up to menopause, during which a woman experiences physical symptoms that indicate she is losing her fertility. Being familiar with perimenopausal symptoms can help you ease through this potentially difficult time.
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The most common perimenopausal symptoms are irregularities in menstrual cycle and hot flashes (sudden sensations of heat, often accompanied by flushed skin).
Other common symptoms of perimenopause include mood changes, vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections, bone loss, changes in sexual desire and decreased fertility.
Perimenopausal symptoms occur when the body's levels of oestrogen and progesterone (female hormones) fluctuate and eventually decrease, until you no longer ovulate, which means a complete loss of fertility.
According to the Mayo Clinic, perimenopause symptoms often occur in the forties, but can begin in the late thirties. These symptoms typically last two to eight years until menopause arrives.
If you are experiencing severe perimenopausal symptoms, your doctor might suggest hormone therapy for relief. Options include oestrogen therapy and combined oestrogen-progesterone therapy, according to the North American Menopause Society.
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