Things You Should Know Of Perimenopause

July 15, 2019

What is menopause?
Normal stages of life
Menopause is a time in a woman’s life when her hormone, estrogen and progesterone levels decline. A woman who does not have her period for 12 consecutive months enters menopause. Menopause is a normal experience that lasts 4 to 10 years and usually begins in a woman’s 40s or earlier. Many symptoms indicate that a woman is going through menopause.

When does it happen?
Most women begin to experience menopausal symptoms in their 40s and even 30s. The average woman is 51 at the time of menopause. This transition is characterized by fluctuations in hormone levels. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels begin to increase about five years before menopause. During this stage, symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, anxiety, mood changes, bone loss and memory problems begin to appear. These symptoms may be similar to those of other health conditions.

Periodic changes
irregular menstruation
When a woman enters menopause, one of the first symptoms she may notice is a change in her menstrual cycle. The bleeding may be lighter or heavier than usual. Menstrual periods may be longer or shorter than usual. Periods may be spaced at different intervals. Your doctor may prescribe treatment to make the transition easier. Your doctor may test your thyroid hormone levels to make sure they are not causing irregular periods. In addition to thyroid abnormalities, other health problems may mimic the symptoms that occur during menopause and after menopause. Only your doctor can determine the cause of your symptoms and signs and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Pregnancy may be a potential cause of delayed menstruation.

Pregnancy Precautions.
It is possible for a woman to become pregnant during the years of menopause, even though her hormone levels are declining. It is important to use contraception during menopause to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Unprotected sex poses risks of pregnancy and health risks such as sexually transmitted diseases. At this stage, it is normal for the length, flow and intervals between periods to change, but remember…. It is still possible to become pregnant, so take precautions. Changes in menstruation may be normal at this stage, or they may signal an underlying health problem.

Increased bleeding
Many women experience heavy bleeding during the menopausal years. This is because the lining of the uterus becomes thicker before it sheds. This happens due to lower levels of the hormone progesterone. Health conditions that affect the uterus, such as fibroids, may also be responsible for the increased bleeding. Any abnormal bleeding associated with your period is a sign of a potential problem and should be evaluated by your doctor. Heavy bleeding may be a sign that something is wrong with your body.

hot flush
sudden burst of heat
Hot flashes are a common symptom of peri-menopause or near menopause and many women find them distressing. They are sudden waves of heat and hot flashes that usually occur on the upper part of the body. Red spots may appear on the face, chest and arms at the same time. Sweating profusely is a common experience during hot flashes. They often interfere with sleep. Lower hormone levels can lead to hot flashes and anxiety.

Tips for hot flashes
Hot flashes and night sweats are a disturbing symptom of menopause. A health care provider may prescribe low-dose oral contraceptives (birth control pills) to control the condition. Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) may also be helpful. Hormone therapy is not without risks. Women with a personal or family history of breast cancer or cardiovascular disease may not be able to take it. Some medications used to treat mood disorders, high blood pressure, or epilepsy are sometimes used to treat hot flashes. Some other strategies for managing hot flashes include avoiding triggers such as stress, caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol. It’s helpful to wear layers of clothing that you can take off if you have hot flashes. To stop it in its tracks, start taking deep breaths to relieve it.

vaginal dryness
symptoms of discomfort
The decrease in estrogen during perimenopause leads to thinning of the vaginal tissues and vaginal dryness. The tissues of the urethra also become thinner and the pelvic muscles weaken, all of which can lead to incontinence. Women may experience soreness, itching, discomfort, and pain during sex, all of which can reduce the desire for intimacy and lead to anxiety. If the thought of engaging in intimacy is unpleasant when you have vaginal dryness, there are many things you can do to make it more comfortable. Over-the-counter products, such as water-based vaginal lubricants and moisturizers, can make intimacy more comfortable. For severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe hormone therapy or a topical estrogen cream to treat your condition. Ask your doctor for medical advice on how best to deal with dryness and whether a prescription treatment is right for you.

Sleep difficulties
lights out
Many women approaching menopause experience difficulty sleeping due to night sweats and other symptoms. Lack of rest can interfere with activities of daily living. Make a habit of establishing a regular nighttime routine to lay the foundation for a good night’s sleep. Reading a good book is a great way to relax. Be careful not to engage in too much physical activity before bedtime. Avoid smoking and large meals that can interfere with sleep. Start reducing or eliminating your caffeine intake. Establish a regular bedtime and wake up time each day and stick to it. Your bedroom should be quiet, dark and cool to promote sleep. Use your bed only for sleep and sex. Many postmenopausal women find that they need less sleep to feel rested than they did before this stage. However, adequate, uninterrupted rest is still necessary to maintain health and reduce any symptoms associated with menopause or perimenopause.

mood change
Highs and lows
Mood changes tend to occur around perimenopause and menopause, when hormone levels are dropping. You may experience mood swings, whether highs or lows, or anxiety. You may cry and feel irritable. Women who experience severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may experience the most severe mood changes during menopause and menopause. If you are experiencing mood symptoms or distressing thoughts, consult your doctor. There are effective treatments for mood conditions and anxiety.

Hormones or life stress?
Hormonal changes may be to blame for women’s mood swings, but the unique stresses of life during this period may be the real root cause. Menopause is often a time when a woman is dealing with growing children or empty nest syndrome. She may even be caring for an aging parent, which can have a significant impact on her own health. If anxiety and mood changes are affecting your life, talk to your doctor about it.

memory loss
Are you forgetful?
Many women are more forgetful during menopause and near menopause. This is due to a drop in estrogen levels. As your estrogen levels drop, you may lose your train of thought, misplace items, or forget appointments. While memory loss is common, it’s not normal. If you begin to experience these symptoms, see your doctor for an evaluation. Memory loss and forgetfulness can be a symptom of menopause or other health conditions.

Memory aids

If you’re experiencing memory loss during menopause due to a decrease in estrogen, there are a few things you can do to help your memory. Start writing down your appointments on a calendar or in an appointment book. Keep frequently lost items, such as keys, glasses, medications and cell phones, in a special basket or box. Set an alarm clock to help you remember the times of medications you take for other health conditions.

skinny and emaciated
Estrogen loss, osteoporosis
As estrogen levels decline during menopause, bone loss increases. The loss of minerals from your bones increases the risk of osteoporosis. Your doctor can check your bone density with a special type of x-ray. Get enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones as healthy and strong as possible. Do weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or weight training, to maintain your bone density. Exercise is good for your whole body. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to increase your bone density and bone health.