ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Perimenopause: Signs of the Menopause Transition

Updated on December 8, 2013

Perimenopause is the time in a woman’s reproductive life when her body transitions to permanent infertility. To learn more about this stage of menopause, read on.

Perimenopause usually starts in your 40s.
Perimenopause usually starts in your 40s. | Source

What is Perimenopause?

Are you a woman in her midlife years? Have you noticed subtle, or maybe obvious, changes in your mood and body?

Is something "not quite right" but you cannot put a finger on the cause? You may be experiencing signs of perimenopause.

Perimenopause is the time in your reproductive life when your body begins the transition to permanent infertility. It is also called the menopause transition.

The changes you are experiencing are normal and natural. To better understand this time in your life, keep reading.

Perimenopause Duration

Women experience perimenopause at different ages. Most women notice the signs when they are in their 40s or early 50s. However, some women start to see changes in their 30s.

Perimenopause can last from a few months to several years. Most women have symptoms for about four years, until their ovaries stop releasing eggs and they stop having menstrual periods. Until then, assume that you are fertile and can still get pregnant.

Perimenopause ends when you have gone an entire year, or 12 consecutive months, without a menstrual period. This is the official start of menopause, commonly called "the change of life."

Perimenopause Symptoms

Irregular menstrual periods are often the first sign of perimenopause. Other common symptoms include hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, depression, weight gain, and low libido. Lactose intolerance and nausea are less common symptoms that affect some women.

The physical and emotional changes of perimenopause stem from diminishing levels of estrogen and progesterone, the key female sex hormones. Low testosterone symptoms are more subtle. Fortunately, treatments exist to alleviate these symptoms and provide some relief.

Perimenopause Treatments

Doctors may prescribe drug therapy for perimenopause symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), vaginal estrogen, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants are common perimenopause treatments.

You may prefer natural remedies and lifestyle changes to treat your perimenopause symptoms. Many women do. Black cohosh, plant estrogens, and bioidentical hormones are popular alternative treatments.

Healthy eating, regular exercise, over-the-counter lubricants, weight control, stress management, and adequate sleep can also ease your symptoms and improve your overall health.

Your Turn

What is your experience with perimenopause symptoms? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your social networks.

Reference Sources

  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (April 20, 2013) "Perimenopause." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  • NIH Staff. (October 2010). "Mystified by Menopause?" NIH: News in Health. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  • Ratini, Melinda. (June 11, 2012) "Perimenopause." WebMD Medical Reference. Retrieved July 24, 2013.

Medical Disclaimer

The information presented in this article is not intended as health or medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional.

© 2013 Annette R. Smith


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, teaches12345. I'm glad you were able to learn something new from my article! Thank you for the comment and encouragement.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I learned something new today. This new term certainly casts a lot of light onto the early onsets of menopause. What a difference!

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Oh, no! Interrupted after eleven months? I'm so glad the rest was a breeze for you, MsDora. I've heard that menopause can be more difficult for childless women, so I'm bracing myself for an array of symptoms. Thanks so much for your input.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Annette, been there. Good advice for those who're still there. I counted 11 consecutive months, then was interrupted. It was another whole year before I could start counting again. Otherwise, it was a breeze, thank God!

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Abby! I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I've been working on other projects, but I plan to do more writing for HubPages soon. At 47, I am definitely seeing the signs of perimenopause. Like you, I'm looking for natural remedies to ease the symptoms. I'll add maca to the list. Thank you for the shares!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Annette - I had wondered where you had gone! I'm glad you're back at writing. This is a very informative hub. I'm almost 46, and I just started seeing changes. I'm not happy about it at all. Insomnia and melasma are my worst symptoms currently. I use to sleep to soundly, and I also had the most beautiful complexion. Now I look in the mirror and I have bags and spots from no sleep and the sun. LOL. I've recently started taking Maca as it is supposed to balance out hormones. I don't wan to go on conventional meds, so I'm searching for the best natural route. Thanks for sharing your very useful hub. Voted up and pinning! ;)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)