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Are you perimenopausal?

Updated on March 6, 2016

What it means

This is the term generally used when a woman is nearing menopause. Not only causing anxiety and confusion but fluctuations in hormones.

On average a woman will have her last period around 51 years old. There is a small percentage of women who will start their menopause before the age of 45, this works out to be 5% of women. In your early 40's is the time you'll be perimenopausal, and that small percentage will be going through this in their late 30's. There is no way of deferring your menopause, and the pill won't be able to save your eggs, contrary to popular belief. Your eggs will continue to lessen even if your not ovulating.


You may think that the menopause is a long way off, but also experiencing insominia, mood swings, heavy or irregular periods. But chances are you have started the perimenopause.

Women may be in this state for about 10-13 years before they start the menopause. It can start as young as 40 with changes in the body that feel inexplicable.

Recognizing these symptoms and getting the help you need is really important. Giving you a better quality of life.


  • Periods become irregular (heavier or lighter)
  • Mood Swings
  • Bad PMS
  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Abdominal weight gain
  • Insomnia

Other symptoms can also include palpatations and chest pain. Emotions can also run high with changes in hormones that cause depression, anxiety and irritability.

A simple blood test can be taken at the beginning of your period, to measure your hormone levels.

If you are much younger and suffering from problems with your periods do seek advice from your GP. These symptoms could also be caused by fibroid's or endometriosis. Things such as gaining weight, tiredness and lack of concentration could be related to stress, which could mean a change in lifestyle to cure this problem.


If you do have problems with your periods or wondering when you'll stop conceiving, the following factors will be useful indicators:

  • How old was your mother when she went through the menopause?
  • Genetics have been shown to relate greatly in this. The age your mother was when she had her last period as a guide to when yours will finish.
  • Weight
  • Oestrogen is stored in fat, so the more body fat you have the later your menopause is likely to be. Following the menopause you are more at risk of things such as a stroke, heart disease and breast cancer.

After symptoms are diagnosed

Once you realise your body isn't working the way it should be many women may need a change in diet or daily supplement to help their bodies return to normal.

It also reassuring to know that a females body is in a state of constant flux, changes are always going on with age etc. But always see your doctor if your not sure.

© 2011 Helen Bolam


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    • Helen Bolam profile image

      Helen Bolam 6 years ago from South Shields

      Thank you both for your comments. Once you pass 30, the closer the menopause feels. Having had a temporary menopause through endometriosis, I'm not in any hurry for the real thing, and certainly don't miss all of those hot flushes.

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 6 years ago from Indiana

      I completely understood this one. I'm almost wishing I didn't. I'm "that age"... EEK!!

      Excellent information.. Thank you! :)

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Interesting facts on the perimenopause, Helen, and I really don't think that enough women are aware of how early their menstrual cycle can change.