You can count on the medical professionals at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Children for expert healthcare through all stages of your life. Our doctors are trained in providing complete care for women experiencing early menopausal symptoms.
Perimenopause, referred by many as early menopause, is the time when a woman’s body begins to produce estrogen on a less regular basis. This transition normally happens when a woman is in her 40s, but some women may notice symptoms beginning in their mid-30s.
Perimenopause begins with irregular menstrual cycles. Other symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or spotting
- Sleep problems
- Mood swings, irritability and increased risk of depression
- Vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse
- Decrease in libido, or sexual desire
- An increase in cholesterol levels
- Loss of bone from declining estrogen levels
Once a woman has gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, she has officially reached menopause, and the perimenopause period is over. On average, perimenopause lasts three to four years, but for some women it can last just a few months or stretch as long as a decade.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Typically, tests are not needed to diagnose perimenopause. But under certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend blood tests to check your hormone levels and rule out thyroid problems.
A number of treatments are available to manage early menopause symptoms, including:
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Bioidentical hormone therapy
- Non-hormonal medication options to treat hot flashes
- Vaginal estrogen
- Antidepressant medication
Your doctor may also recommend healthy lifestyle habits including regular exercise, good nutrition, getting enough sleep, and stress reduction techniques. The experienced gynecologists at Winnie Palmer Hospital are here to support you through perimenopause and menopause.
Search our Physicians page for a doctor who can help you manage your symptoms.