What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause when your body’s hormones start to change. It typically starts in your 40s, though it may begin earlier or later for some. Perimenopause can last anywhere from a few years to a decade, and the symptoms can vary from person to person.

During this time, your ovaries gradually slow down egg production. This shift in hormones can cause some noticeable changes, like irregular periods, hot flashes, sleep problems, and mood swings

How do I Know if I'm Perimenopausal?

How do I Know if I'm Perimenopausal?

If you are of perimenopausal age, the most tell-tale sign is if you have changes in your period. Your periods might become irregular, lighter, heavier, more frequent, or less frequent than usual.

Another common symptom is the sudden feeling of heat, known as a hot flush or a night sweat if it happens at night. Additionally, you might have noticed mood swings, difficulty concentrating, or lower sexual drive, but it’s important to note that these may also be caused by other things.

Here’s the catch, though: perimenopause can be tricky to diagnose! Many women experience perimenopause and its symptoms differently. Ultimately, the best way to know for sure is to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. 

Common Symptoms of Perimenopause

The hormone shift during perimenopause can cause a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, but these can differ from woman to woman. Some common perimenopausal symptoms are listed below. For more on menopausal symptoms, refer to our Symptoms of Menopause page.

Physical Symptoms of Perimenopause

Hot Flushes and Night Sweats

Hot flushes are characterised by a sudden sensation of heat spreading across the body, often accompanied by sweating. The frequency, duration, and intensity of these hot flushes can vary significantly from one woman to another. When these happen at night, they are known as night sweats, which often disturb sleep and can significantly impact your sleep quality.

Restless Sleep

Many women have trouble sleeping as they approach menopause. Hormones play a key role in falling and staying asleep. Fluctuating hormone levels can make good sleep harder to get, especially when interrupted by night sweats.

Vaginal Dryness

The decline in oestrogen levels during perimenopause can contribute to a decrease in vaginal lubrication and elasticity. These changes can lead to vaginal dryness or irritation which may cause discomfort during intimate moments. 

Emotional Symptoms of Perimenopause

Mood Changes

Mood swings, heightened irritability, and feeling anxious are common experiences during perimenopause. Factors such as difficulty sleeping and hormonal fluctuations can significantly influence your mood.

Low Libido

Decreasing oestrogen levels during perimenopause can instigate a series of changes that can affect sexual health. While the effects of hormonal shifts on sexual health are varied and can differ among women, reduced libido and sexual responsiveness are common.

How Can I Cope with Perimenopausal Symptoms?

How can I Cope with Perimenopausal Symptoms?

Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to combat symptoms of perimenopause. You can dress in layers or carry a fan to combat hot flushes and keep your bedroom cool and comfortable. Practice good sleep hygiene techniques to help ensure you get enough sleep. Staying physically and socially active can help your mood and stress levels. You can also adopt a diet rich in phytoestrogens, which can be found in many fruits and vegetables, to help your keep your hormone levels balanced.

Supplements to Relieve Perimenopause Symptoms

Supplements to Relieve Perimenopause Symptoms

If lifestyle changes aren’t working for you, or if you need something a little extra, you might consider a perimenopause supplement such as Promensil PERI, which is a herbal medicine formulated with a patented ERr 731® extract from Siberian rhubarb or Rheum rhaponticum root.

Promensil PERI can provide effective relief of menopausal symptoms during perimenopause including hot flushes and night sweats, restless sleep, irritability, moodiness, restless sleep and vaginal dryness. It may also help support emotional wellbeing and healthy libido.

Frequently Asked Questions About Perimenopause

  • When does perimenopause start?

    Perimenopause typically begins in a woman's 40s, but the age at which it starts can vary. Some women may experience the early stages of perimenopause in their late 30s to early 40s, while others may not notice significant changes until their early 50s.

  • How long does perimenopause last?

    The duration of perimenopause varies for each woman, but it commonly lasts for anywhere between four to ten years. 

  • Can I get pregnant during perimenopause?

    While fertility declines during perimenopause due to hormonal changes and irregular menstrual cycles, it is still possible for women to become pregnant. Ovulation may occur sporadically, making it challenging to predict fertility accurately.
  • What happens after perimenopause?

    After perimenopause, menopause is confirmed when  you haven't had a period for a full 12 months. After this, periods stop completely, and hormonal fluctuations stabilise and the postmenopause period begins. Despite the name, menopausal symptoms may still occur during postmenopause.  After menopause, women may be more at risk of other health conditions.