Perimenopause

When does the Perimenopause interval start?

Perimenopause is a natural part of aging, the interval in which you are in a transition leading up to menopause.  It signals the ending of your reproductive years.  In most women, perimenopause can occur two to seven years before menopause. As the average age of a non-smoking American female is 51 (smokers average 49), the perimenopause usually starts in the mid to late 40’s.  The duration varies from two to eight years including the first year after your final period.  Remember that a whole year without a period before menopause is also considered part of perimenopause.  Always let your doctor know when you had gone a whole year without a period as you are entering into the menopause phase of your life.  Basically, this stage compromises of gradual falling and fluctuating hormone levels with associated symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Perimenopause?

This can be very normal to very severe in some cases. 70% women are affected by the typical symptoms of perimenopause. Symptoms occur as some follicles respond to hormonal change and high estrogen levels.  Periods can change, space out, or even come closer together.  The amount of flow can be heavier or lighter, and may shorter or longer.

The most typical symptoms due to falling and fluctuating hormonal levels are:

  1. Hot Flashes.
  2. Night Sweats.
  3. Irregular Periods.
  4. Loss of Libido.
  5. Vaginal Dryness.
  6. Mood swings.

Other symptoms of change in behavior, body, or emotions may develop in most women, including:

  1. Fatigue.
  2. Depression.
  3. Anxiety.
  4. Irritability.
  5. Breast pain.
  6. Joint pain.
  7. Hair Loss.
  8. Memory Lapses.
  9. Sleep Disorders.
  10. Incontinence.
  11. Concentrating Loss.
  12. Dizziness.
  13. Weight Gain.
  14. Bloating.
  15. Allergies.
  16. Brittle Nails.
  17. Osteoporosis
  18. Irregular Heartbeat.
  19. Increase in Facial hair.
  20. Urine Incontinence.

The severity of above symptoms depends on how you prepare for and treat this new phase of your life.

Do patients who have had a tubal ligation or a tubal reversal have an earlier onset of Perimenopause?

Previous tubal ligation or subsequent tubal reversal will most likely not affect the age of perimenopause. On occasion, a tubal ligation may interrupt the normal blood flow to the ovary on one side or another, but this is rare. If the blood flow to an ovary has been affected, the ovary may fail earlier and this may lead to an earlier perimenopause.

A tubal reversal will not restore normal blood flow to an ovary, if this disruption has occurred. A tubal reversal strictly restores normal flow through the fallopian tube and this does not affect the age of onset of perimenopause.

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