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Perimenopause is the transitional time around menopause. Menopause is when a woman’s periods stop. It’s marked by changes in the menstrual cycle, along with other physical and emotional symptoms. This time can last 2 to10 years. During this time, your body:
Perimenopause is a natural process caused when your ovaries gradually stop working. Ovulation may become erratic and then stop. The menstrual cycle length and flow may become irregular before your final period.
Symptoms are caused by the changing levels of hormones in the body. When estrogen is higher, you may have symptoms like you might have with PMS. When estrogen is low, you may have hot flashes or night sweats. These hormone changes may be mixed with normal cycles.
No two women will experience perimenopause in the same way. These are the most common symptoms:
The symptoms of perimenopause may look like other conditions. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Perimenopause does not need to be treated unless symptoms are bothersome. Treatments may include:
Your health care provider may suggest other lifestyle changes:
Discuss the use of other treatments in relieving symptoms with your health care provider.
You may hear about herbal supplements that claim to help manage hot flashes. It’s important to remember that the FDA does not regulate these supplements. They are not tested like traditional medications to prove their effectiveness and safety.
Talk to your health care provider before using any herbal supplements.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
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