Signs of Perimenopause – Are You Going Through The Change?

by Laura Ramirez on September 27, 2011

The signs of perimenopause are different for every woman, but generally speaking, most women experience at least some of the following symptoms, although some lucky women have no symptoms at all. Signs include weight gain, breast tenderness, lowered libido, mood swings, depression, hot flashes (or hot flushes as they are sometimes called), painful sex (often due to vaginal dryness or atrophy), erratic periods, sleep problems and incontinence. You do not have to have all these symptoms to be in the throes of peri menopause.

What causes these pre menopause symptoms and how long do they last? The answer is changing hormone levels. During perimenopause, your ovaries produce less estrogen which causes hormonal imbalances that give rise to symptoms. Of course, your levels of progesterone and testosterone also change as well. The duration of symptoms is individual: some women have symptoms for a year or so, while other women have symptoms that persist for up to ten years. If your symptoms affect your ability to function, then it is essential to get treatment. Treatment options range from synthetic drugs to bioidentical hormones, from herbal remedies to estrogen cream (I like Source Naturals Phyto-Estrogen Cream, 4 oz) to using nothing at all.

So how can you know if the symptoms that you are experiencing are due to falling hormones or might be the result of another health issue? Here’s what one author has to say about the subject:

The only way to know for sure if you’re in perimenopause is to have your doctor check your hormone levels.

But you won’t know after one blood test. You’ll have to have several blood draws over a period of several months to determine if your estrogen levels are heading south. If they are and you’re very uncomfortable, talk to your doc about whether hormone replacement is safe for you.

If you notice menopause-like symptoms but blood tests don’t show declining estrogen levels, your ob/gyn may want to check for other problems, such as an ovarian cyst.

signs of perimenopause

One of the signs of perimenopause is weight gain.

Although the signs of perimenopause could be due to other issues, one of the easiest, most convenient ways to find out if your hormone levels are falling below normal is to purchase a saliva test online and send it in to the lab.(Saliva tests are more accurate than blood tests.) You’ll get the results back with a full report about your hormone levels and what they indicate. The report is written in language that is easy for a woman without a medical background to understand, so don’t worry, you won’t be resigned to looking up terms in a medical dictionary. Once you get the results back, then you can determine if you should make an appointment with your doctor and start talking about treatment options to relieve the symptoms of perimenopause, especially if they are disrupting your sleep, ability to focus or work, or wreaking havoc in your personal and professional relationships.

What are the signs of perimenopause that you are struggling with? How are you treating them? Leave your questions, tips, suggestions below.

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