Menopause and perimenopause
Every woman must reach the period in her life when the ovaries do not manufacture estrogen any more. The hormone estrogen is one of two most important hormones in the female body, and it is responsible for the development of female sex organs, as well as for the development of female sex characteristics. Furthermore, these two hormones have a vital role in the reproductive process in women.
Menopause is the period when estrogen is not produced any more. Usually it starts after 50 years of age, although there are cases when menopause may start even much earlier. A period of approximately four yeas before or after a woman enters the menopause is called perimenopause, and it differs from menopause because it is only the beginning of this period. It is a period when the female body undergoes many physical and physiological changes.
The most common symptoms that women in perimenopause may experience are mood swings and hot flashes, as well as menopause induced vaginal dryness, sleeplessness and urinary and genital changes. Furthermore, in perimenopause, the women do not have menstruation regularly. Some women suddenly stop having their monthly menstruation while on the other side, there are women who have light or heavy spotting between periods that gradually ceases completely.
Symptoms of spotting in perimenopause
In the first stage of perimenopause, a female body experiences many hormonal changes. First of all, the level of estrogen becomes too high and than suddenly drops. Due to this hormonal alternation in the levels, the women in this period have various symptoms. Gradual ceasing of having menstrual periods may be accompanied by sudden spotting before a period.
There are three phases of spotting during perimenopause in the majority of women. In this first stage, the woman experience shortening of her menstrual cycle so that she can get the next menstruation after only 24 days, or in some cases even before. The spotting during this stage of perimenopause is usually very heavy and excessive. In the second phase, the length of the menstrual cycle is prolonged and it happens that even two or more months may pass and that the woman does not get her menstruation. The spotting during this stage is lighter, but in the third and the last stage of perimenopause, the women do not have her menstruation from 3 to 12 months. During this stage, the spotting is significantly decreased. When a woman does not have menstruation for more than twelve months, it is considered that she has entered in the period of menopause.