Perimenopause- the rollercoaster to menopause

Are you in your 30s or 40s?

Are you experiencing night sweats, irregular periods, dry itchy skin or other strange symptoms?

Are you confused about what might be causing it?

You might be wondering, isn't it too early for menopause? Could these symptoms be caused by something else?

You aren’t totally wrong. You might just be experiencing perimenopause.

What’s the difference between menopause and perimenopause?

Menopause, the end of the menstrual cycle, is a topic that has attained a fair degree of familiarity around the world. The average age of menopause in India is 46 years. However, there is yet another important stage experienced by women which need to be talked about too – the “perimenopause”.

“Peri” meaning “around” is the transitional stage that occurs before menopause. Menopause is just one day, the anniversary of your last period. Perimenopause is the 4 to 10 year lead-up to that day.

What exactly is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is your ovaries’ way of preparing for menopause. The ovaries gradually decrease their secretion of estrogen, the hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle. The fluctuation in estrogen results in irregular menstrual cycles, usually the most noticeable marker of looming menopause. The drop in estrogen escalates in the last one or two years before menopause when many women start to experience typical menopausal symptoms. It’s important to note that the ovaries continue to release eggs through the perimenopause period, so perimenopausal women can get pregnant

There are two stages of perimenopause – the early transition stage with relatively fewer interruptions in the menstrual cycle and the late transition stage, where the cessation of the menstrual cycle could last even up to 60 days.