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Menopause is the stage of life that a woman goes through after she has completed her
childbearing years. Once you get to menopause, you no longer need birth control as
your menstrual cycle changes and you can’t get pregnant any longer. However, there is
a short period before this occurs called perimenopause, where it gives you warning
signs that menopause is fast approaching. Here are some signs that you are going
The majority of signs of perimenopause are going to be physical, so this is a great place
to start. You will notice that the signs of perimenopause vary between typical PMS and
menstrual cycle signs to those commonly associated with menopause. It makes sense
since this is the transitional period to menopause. Some physical signs to be aware of
include having hot flashes, breast tenderness, urine leakage, urinary urgency, and
discomfort during sex. You might also have vaginal dryness and a lower sex drive.
Irregular periods are also common with perimenopause.
Mental and Behavioral Signs
There are also a few mental and behavioral changes that are common signs of
perimenopause. To start with, you may feel fatigued, but not always in a physical sense.
It is simply an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, often linked to high amounts of stress
or anxiety during this time. You may notice that you have trouble falling asleep or
staying asleep, that you tend to get more mood swings, and your irritability around the
time you would have PMS is much worse.
Risk Factors for Early Perimenopause
Perimenopause and menopause are not unusual, and something you should expect to
experience as a woman in your 40s, 50s, or possibly even your 60s. This will occur
before your periods are gone for good. Typically, perimenopause occurs for about a
year before actual menopause starts. While this usually occurs with middle-aged
women, it is possible that you have perimenopause symptoms at an earlier age.
Women who go through this often have a genetic link, where other women in their
family tree also had early menopause. You may also get early perimenopause if you
have had a hysterectomy or you have gone through cancer treatments.
While perimenopause is a normal occurrence, there can be complications if you have
severe pain or heavy bleeding with clots. Talk to your doctor if these or other worrisome
things are occurring and you believe it is related to your gynecological health.