There are several phases of entering full menopause, with this stage called perimenopause. Perimenopause is where some of you can feel the effects of fluctuating hormone levels. Once you’re in menopause, these issues will go away.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PERIMENOPAUSE

FIRST PHASE – CHANGES IN PROGESTERONE AND OESTROGEN LEVELS

  • Periods become less frequent
  • Cycle length may shorten initially and then increases
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Weight gain
  • Migraines
  • Mood symptoms

SECOND PHASE – MENOPAUSE ARRIVES

  • Period doesn’t come for a year
  • Very sparse periods may lead up to this time
  • ‘Flooding’ period, usually right before they stop altogether
  • The first phase symptoms may or may not continue past this point
  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Lowered libido
  • Mood symptoms
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Change in body shape (more abdominal weight, less muscle)
  • Significant event for the body

Menopause refers to the last menstrual period a woman will get. This is only identifiable in hindsight with a woman being considered “postmenopausal” when she hasn’t had a period for 12 months.

Some women will stop getting symptoms after their final period, while others will continue to get hormonal and physical symptoms beyond this.

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