Perimenopause refers to the period of time leading up to menopause when your body undergoes hormonal changes that ultimately result in the cessation of menstruation. During perimenopause, hormone levels fluctuate and you may experience various symptoms.
The hormonal stages of perimenopause can be divided into three phases: early, middle, and late.
- Early Perimenopause: This phase can last for several years and is characterized by fluctuating hormone levels, irregular periods, and symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes.
- Middle Perimenopause: During this phase, hormone levels continue to fluctuate and periods may become more irregular. Symptoms such as vaginal dryness, decreased libido, and sleep disturbances may occur.
- Late Perimenopause: In this final phase, hormone levels begin to decrease significantly, and periods may become very irregular or stop altogether. Symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes may continue, and women may experience additional symptoms such as urinary incontinence and joint pain.
It is important to note that every experience with perimenopause can be different, and not all women will experience every symptom. If you are experiencing symptoms that are impacting your quality of life, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider.