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Perimenopause Symptoms - Spotting the Signs of Perimenopause

Learning to identify perimenopause symptoms can alert you to the start of your progress towards the menopause.

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The words "Perimenopause" and "menopause" are often used interchangeably to describe the stages leading up to your last period. The word "menopause" actually means the ending of your menstrual cycle, and the symptoms and bodily changes leading up to your last ever period are the "perimenopause."

As you move into this phase of your reproductive life, you may start to notice a whole host of physical and emotional changes, although some lucky women sail through perimenopause with no symptoms at all.

When do Perimenopause Symptoms Start?

How do you recognize perimenopause symptoms?
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The onset differs from woman to woman, but typically it begins in the mid-forties, although some will experience perimenopausal symptoms as young as 35.

How Long Do Perimenopausal Symptoms Last?

Perimenopause can last for at least 3 years from when you first notice signs until your final period. For some women, symptoms can last up to 15 years or even, rarely 20 years, before menopause occurs, but a span of 3-5 years is far more common.

Perimenopausal signs don't just switch themselves off when you reach menopause, and can go on, dwindling gradually, for a year or more post-menopause.

Physical Perimenopause Symptoms

This list covers some of the common symptoms you may experience with the onset of perimenopause:

  • Changes in menstruation - your periods may become heavier, or lighter, and the interval between them longer or shorter - all very unpredictable.
  • Sudden perimenopause weight gain, typically around the midriff.
  • Perimenopause hot flashes are very common and some women get them many times a day.
  • Migraines or less severe headaches, even if you've never suffered from head pain before.
  • Changes in breast sensitivity, leading to uncomfortable tenderness which can last for several days.
  • The usual symptoms of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), like mood swings, bloating and tiredness, can be exaggerated during perimenopause.
  • Heart palpitations - where the heartbeat races or feels suddenly irregular.
  • Insomnia in perimenopause is often caused by night sweats and hot flashes.
  • Loss of interest in sex can follow as falling hormone levels affect your libido.
  • Vaginal dryness is caused by declining levels of estrogen.

Emotional and Psychological Perimenopause Symptoms

  • Unexplained mood swings are a bugbear for lots of women - and their families.
  • Depression during perimenopause happens for many reasons, and can make you feel weary and lacking in motivation.
  • Extreme tiredness and lack of energy, even if you haven't been especially physically active.
  • Sudden bursts of anger or loss of emotional control are caused by hormone fluctuations, but can be very hard to live with.
  • Unexplained anxiety and loss of confidence affect some women.

Fortunately there's a lot you can do to help yourself and you'll find plenty of tips and information on this site. And the chances are that you'll only experience a few of the possible perimenopause symptoms, and those you do have may not be strong enough to affect your day to day life too much.

Go from Perimenopause Symptoms to Beat Menopause Weight Gain.

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