What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the term for the years that lead up to menopause, and begins when the level of estrogen being produced by the ovaries fluctuates. This normally begins for women during their 30’s and 40’s.

What are signs & symptoms of perimenopause?

While many women do experience moderate to severe signs and symptoms related to perimenopause, some women may only experience mild symptoms and others may not experience any at all.

The most common sign of perimenopause is changes in your normal menstrual cycle: periods may be heavier, lighter, longer, shorter, or skipped altogether.

Other common signs and symptoms include:

  • - Hot flashes: Hot flashes can vary in duration and degree, and may feel like a sudden rush of heat to the face and upper body.
  • - Problems sleeping: Sleep may be disrupted due to inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, and/or due to night sweats.
  • - Vaginal & urinary tract changes: Due to the decrease in estrogen amounts, both may be affected by dryness and more frequent irritation or infection. Intercourse may also become painful.

Even though changes in your menstrual cycle are normal during this phase of life, it is important to speak with your doctor about any changes to your menstrual cycle, as abnormal bleeding may indicate a problem.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to take the place of the doctor-patient relationship and any email is not appropriate for emergency care. To schedule an appointment, please call your doctor's primary office, listed on our Locations page. In case of emergency, we are available 24 hours a day.