Menarche and menopause are the two major stages in a woman’s life. The first refers to the stage when a girl collides with puberty and has its first period and the second refers to the stage when the period is completely closed. Menopause signals the end of a woman’s reproductive years and the period before it is called perimenopause.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, perimenopause, also known as menopausal infection, is a period of 8–10 years before menopause. It is when the production of estrogen by the ovary begins to decrease, causing many symptoms that are commonly associated with menopause.
The perimenopause continues until the ovaries completely stop producing estrogen and eggs and estrogen deficiency intensifies and symptoms worsen during the last two years of this stage.
Risk factors for early perimenopause
Perimenopause usually begins in a woman’s 40s but in some cases, women may also experience it in their mid-30s. This is mainly due to any of the four risk factors mentioned below:
- If the women in your family have a history of early menopause, chances are you will experience it as well. Genetic factors actually, in most cases, affect both menopause and menopause.
- Smoking can affect estrogen levels in your body, and studies show that women who smoke have experienced perimenopause two-three years earlier than those who do not.
- Certain procedures and treatments such as hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and pelvic radiation can affect estrogen production and trigger the perimenopause phase.
Symptoms of perimenopause
Health experts at Harvard Medical School say that women experience a wide range of symptoms during perimenopause, but it can be difficult to differentiate between them because normal or mid-life changes in many women during this period of life Also occur. The following are perimenopause symptoms that are related to hormones:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- mood changes
- Sleep disturbance
- Changes in sexual function or decreased libido
- Accelerated bone loss
- Change in cholesterol level
Although there is no way to avoid perimenopause and the symptoms associated with it, there are quite a few things to manage the infection. The following are some management strategies that you can use after consulting with your gynecologist:
- Hormonal therapy is an option, many women go for it because it controls the changes and makes the infection easier. Discuss the possible side effects with your doctor before opting for it.
- Low-dose birth control pills can help with hormonal changes as well as menstrual irregularities. Stop taking or not taking these medicines without asking your doctor.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein to prevent bone loss, osteoporosis, heart disease, and other health issues.
- Exercise regularly and keep your weight under control to ensure that you are physically healthy. Exercising will also ensure improvement in mood, sleep and other lifestyle factors.
- Keep stress levels to a minimum and adopt techniques like meditation, yoga and other creative hobbies.
For more information, read our article Menopause.
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