When most women think of menopause, they think of freedom from periods. Imagine all the money you’ll save on tampons or pads and how much easier life will be when you don’t have to deal with bloody messes each month.
“If my period is supposed to stop, then why is it coming every two weeks?”
That’s a great question. It’s most likely because you aren’t quite in menopause yet. You may be entering a stage called perimenopause.
Perimenopause can begin in your mid to late 40s. It’s the step that comes before menopause. You may notice symptoms like:
- Hot flashes
- Lower sex drive
- Breast tenderness
- Vaginal dryness
Your hormones are beginning to change, which can affect your menstrual cycle. If you look forward to having no periods, then I have some bad news. It may get worse before it gets better.
Perimenopause can cause irregular cycles. Your estrogen and progesterone levels used to fluctuate consistently when you were younger. As you get older, they become more erratic, which can lead to unpredictable cycles.
There may be less time between periods. Some women also notice heavier or lighter flows as well as a worse premenstrual syndrome.
The perimenopause phase can last for up to 10 years. Sorry ladies, we just can’t catch a break when it comes to our reproductive systems.
Figuring out whether you are in perimenopause or menopause is easy. You are in menopause once you have not had a period for at least a year. This usually happens between ages 45 and 55.
You don’t have to cope with perimenopause symptoms alone. Contact Women’s Health and Menopause Center to schedule an appointment and find out how to make the transition easier.