Whether you’re a woman in your twenties, thirties or even forties, you are likely to be quite familiar with the term “menopause”. On the other hand, you probably never or rarely heard the term “perimenopause”. You even possibly never thought that the term exists. Well, it does exist. So what is perimenopause actually?

If you’re familiar with the term “menopause” you may already known that menopause is the time when you don’t get your menstrual cycle anymore. But before you really become menopause, you may experience some kind of menopausal symptoms in your thirties. Since these symptoms appear so early and unexpectedly you probably won’t relate it with menopause. However, perimenopause can come as early as in your thirties and as late as in your early fifties and these symptoms might just indicate that you’re in your ‘pre’ menopause stage.

What is perimenopause? Perimenopause also referred to as ‘pre’ menopause stage is the process of your body preparing to enter yet another age marker. It is the time when your body begins its transition into menopause. During this time, some hormonal changes occur in your body causing the levels of your reproductive hormones (which are estrogen and progesterone) vary irregularly. You’ll notice some changes in your body for about 10 to 15 years before actually going through menopause.

These changes causes your body doesn’t feel 100% normal. Your eating habit is still the same but you start to gain weight easily, your breasts are painful, and your menstrual cycles are becoming irregular. Your skin is dry and your sex drive just isn’t what it used to be. You’re easily annoyed, tired, and often getting headaches. Well, you can be certain that these are all common signs of perimenopause.

The intensity, duration and frequency of these symptoms are varied. For some, most of the perimenopause symptoms only last for a few months. For others, no symptoms occur.

These symptoms occur because of hormone imbalances, mainly from having too much of the hormone estrogen and not enough of the hormone progesterone. These symptoms are not just scientific and medical; they also have a lot to do with and are more evident in women who are out of touch with their bodies and feelings. Basically, stress worsens the symptoms.

However, you don’t have to look at it with fear or worry since it is a normal change in life that all women experience. Stress, fear and worry only will heighten your symptoms and worsen your condition.

Now that you understand what perimenopause is, you can examine yourself and figure out whether you’re in your “pre” menopause stage or not. If you’re, don’t worry as this doesn’t mean you’ll be menopause soon, it still takes many years before you actually become menopause. You can consider it as part of the beginning of a new phase in your life cycle.

You can also learn further about symptoms of perimenopause and how to deal with them in these articles: