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Perimenopause Signs and Symptoms

Perimenopause is the four to ten year period it takes for a woman’s body to transition from its reproductive phase to menopause.  Most women enter perimenopause in their early forties, but some start as early as their thirties.  The most common sign and symptom of perimenopause is irregular periods and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.  We have made a list of the common signs and symptoms of perimenopause below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Perimenopause include:

  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Periods that come more often, even twice a month
  • Skipped periods
  • Unusually heavy flow
  • Light flow
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Less moist vaginal lining
  • More frequent yeast or urinary infections
  • Bone loss
  • Increase in LDL “bad” cholesterol
  • Decrease in HDL “good” cholesterol
  • Decreasing fertility

When you enter perimenopause, your body stops ovulating regularly.  This sets up dramatic fluctuations in the hormones estrogen and progesterone.  These hormone shifts explain why some women experience menstrual or premenstrual discomfort for the first time in their lives, and why women who have PMS tend to feel those symptoms more severely.

Diagnosis of Perimenopause

The transition to menopause is a perfectly natural process.  There is no specific test to determine if you’ve entered perimenopause.  A diagnosis of perimenopause is made based upon your age, the combination and sum total of the specific signs and symptoms you are experiencing, and hormone levels.

Books for Women With Signs and Symptoms of Perimenopause

Could It Be…Perimenopause?: How Women 35-50 Can Overcome Forgetfulness, Mood Swings, Insomnia, Weight Gain, Sexual Dysfunction and Other Telltale Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
Steven R. Goldstein
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM): Premenopause: Balance Your Hormones and Your Life from Thirty to Fifty (What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About…)
Jesse Hanley

Before the Change: Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause
Ann Louise Gittleman
The Hormone Survival Guide for Perimenopause: Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Nisha Jackson

Perimenopause Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Women to Women

Symptoms and signs of perimenopause including a natural approach to dealing with hormonal change in women.

  • About . com

A look at the signs and symptoms of perimenopause with suggestions for relief. Extensive material discusses each of the signs and symptoms of perimenopause.

  • Medicine Net . com

Learn about perimenopause and pre-menopause symptoms including hot flashes and menstrual cycle changes.

  • Experience Project

You In Perimenopause? Join 114 friendly people sharing 59 true stories in the I Am In Perimenopause group. Find forums, advice and chat with groups who share this condition.

  • Shmirsky

Need a crash course on perimenopause? Shmirshky is the quintessential first read book on menopause. It’s easy, fun, and full of love.

  • Project Aware

Perimenopause Please: The Psychological Impact of Perimenopause. By Nancy L. Whelan. This book published in July 2005 takes an in-depth look at the perimenopausal process.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment, self-care of this life transition for women.

  • Web MD

Learn more about perimenopause, the stage of a woman’s life leading up to menopause.