Many women after 45 years of age experience the beginning of menopause, which means that they do not have menstruation anymore and that their body is now infertile and incapable of conceiving. The ovaries do not produce the eggs anymore and there is no ovulation. However, all this does not occurs suddenly but gradually, and the body prepares for all the symptoms of menopause in the period which is called perimenopause, which is actually a transitional period from the fertile years to the infertile period of the woman’s life.
Perimenopause can even last 10 years before the real menopause actually begins, and there are also women who may experience some signs and symptoms of menopause even in their thirties. However, the age of 51 is considered to be the average age at which menopause starts and perimenopause is considered to be a period of several years before.
Causes of perimenopause
The ovaries do not function properly anymore and because of that, the eggs are not released regularly so that the women may experience irregular menstrual cycle, which is either extremely heavy or missing for a couple of months. The woman’s more important hormones are imbalanced and because of that, frequent mood swings occur. Sometimes the levels of estrogen are so high that the women may experience the symptoms characteristic for the pre-menstrual syndrome, while sometimes the levels of progesterone are higher than the levels of estrogen, thus causing hot flashes and sleeplessness.
Symptoms of perimenopause
The hormonal imbalance makes a negative impact on the skin, which turns dry and itchy. Furthermore, missing menstrual period of excessive vaginal bleeding, as well as hot flashes and pre-menstrual syndrome, are also the most typical signs of perimenopause. Mood swings, depression, frequent swings in sexual desire, dryness of vagina and painful sexual intercourse are also some of the symptoms of perimenopause.
When a woman is in the perimenopausal period, she may also experience sleep disorders, excessive sweating and frequent urination, as well as headaches and aches in the muscles and joints. The risk of osteoporosis is higher in perimenopause since the levels of estrogen drop, thus causing the loss of bone mass and bone density. All these symptoms are similar to the warning signs of a thyroid problem and therefore, it is always better to consult a doctor and see what the symptoms actually indicate since if they are the signs of perimenopause, it is not a serious problem as it would be if they actually indicated some thyroid problem.