Perimenopause (Pre-Menopause)

Perimenopause (Pre-Menopause)Perimenopause, or pre-menopause, refers to the period of several years prior to the onset of full menopause, when estrogen production by the ovaries gradually begins to fluctuate and lessen. Usually beginning in a woman’s 30’s or 40’s, perimenopause is characterized by changes in the menstrual cycle, which may become longer, shorter, or even irregular. Some women also begin to experience, to varying degrees, certain symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, sleep problems, and vaginal/urinary tract changes, particularly during the last one to two years of perimenopause, when estrogen production drops significantly. Although changes in menstrual bleeding are normal during perimenopause, you still should report them to Dr. Gould or a Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett provider.


Perimenopause Treatment

Perimenopause is a completely normal part of aging, and while some medical conditions may bring it about prematurely, it does not, in itself, require treatment. However, many of the symptoms that are associated with perimenopause and menopause can be uncomfortable or even debilitating, so treatment to specifically address these symptoms may be beneficial. Minor chronic symptoms, like hot flashes and changes in mood or libido can often be addressed with hormone therapy treatments. More serious potential side effects of menopause, such as the increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, should be carefully monitored with regular doctor visits.


Perimenopause FAQs

Is “pre-mature” menopause the same as perimenopause?
No. Perimenopause is considered a normal part of the aging process when it happens after the age of forty. However, some women may go through menopause early, either as a result of genetics, certain autoimmune disorders, surgical procedures like a hysterectomy, or damage to the ovaries, like that potentially caused by chemotherapy. Premature menopause may also be the result of premature ovarian failure, a condition when, for unknown reasons, the ovaries prematurely stop releasing eggs.

Is perimenopause associated with any health risks?
The estrogen produced by women’s ovaries helps protect the body from heart attacks and stroke, so when estrogen production begins to fluctuate, women may become more prone to these conditions. Midlife also is the time when risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and being physically inactive, are more common. All of these combined factors increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in premenopausal and menopausal women.


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Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
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