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5 Early Signs of Perimenopause

Everyone knows about menopause, the time in a woman’s life when she no longer menstruates. But what about perimenopause? 

Perimenopause is the transitional period leading up to menopause. Though not as well known as menopause, many of the signs and symptoms women associate with the change of life occur during perimenopause. 

At Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, in Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska, our team of medical experts manage women’s health through every stage of life, including perimenopause.

How do you know you’re in the transitioning stage? Here are five early signs of perimenopause. 

1. A changing menstrual cycle

An irregular menstrual cycle is one of the first signs of perimenopause. If your menstrual cycle runs like clockwork, you may pick up on this change right away. 

Your cycle may shorten or lengthen, so you’re getting your period more often or skipping months. You may also notice changes in the length and flow of your period. Your period may last more than seven days with a heavier flow, for example.

The irregular menstrual cycle occurs because of fluctuations in estrogen, the hormone that plays a big role in regulating menstruation. 

2. Feeling more emotional

The hormonal changes that affect the regularity of your menstrual cycle may also affect your mood. You may feel more emotional and have mood swings that bring on unprovoked crying spells. You may also feel more anxious and irritable.

Though part of perimenopause, you shouldn’t dismiss your mood changes. If you’re feeling out of sorts, we can help with our mental health counseling

3. Declining sex drive

Changes in estrogen levels also affect your sex drive. You may find yourself feeling less in the mood for intimacy with your partner.

Declining hormone levels also affects vaginal health, causing dryness that may make sex uncomfortable. Sexual wellness is an important part of your overall health and well-being. If you’re experiencing changes in libido, we can offer advice on how to boost your sex drive.

4. Hot flashes

Hot flashes are synonymous with menopause. But that sudden and intense warming sensation that often starts in your neck and moves up to your head begins during perimenopause. 

Women with moderate to severe hot flashes find the symptom disruptive to daily life. The good news is that treatments can reduce the frequency and severity of your hot flashes, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT), low-dose antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications like gabapentin.

5. Problems sleeping

Are you having a more difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep? Your sleep problem is an early sign of perimenopause. Hormonal changes along with symptoms like hot flashes are usually behind the disruptions in sleep. 

Getting on a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding stimulants like caffeine too close to bedtime, and keeping your room dark and comfortably cool may help you sleep better. 

Perimenopause is a normal physiological stage of life, but you don’t have to suffer through it on your own. Knowing the early signs and symptoms makes you more aware of what’s going on so you know when it’s time to reach out for help.

Are you experiencing early signs of perimenopause? Call us today at the office nearest you, or use our online appointment request form to schedule a visit with one of our women’s health experts.

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