Complete List of Premenopausal Symptoms

Perimenopause is a phase of transition to menopause that begins several years before menopause occurs. In this period, the hormone estrogen will increase and decrease irregularly.

This irregular change in estrogen levels will have an impact on the menstrual cycle of a woman during perimenopause. Sometimes, menstruation can last longer than usual, and can sometimes be very short. Women during perimenopause can also experience symptoms that resemble menopause such as sleep disorders, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.

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Every woman starts the perimenopause phase at different ages, generally in their 40s. But perimenopause can also begin to occur when middle age 30 years.

In most women, this period lasts for 4 years, but can also occur for only a few months or up to 10 years. Perimenopause will end and is called menopause when a woman does not experience menstruation for 12 months.

Symptoms of Perimenopause

When going through the perimenopause phase, women will experience some changes in their body. Some of these changes include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles. The gap between menstrual periods will be faster or even longer. Likewise, for the amount of menstruation, it can be very much or little. If you experience continuous changes during the menstrual period (generally 7 days), you may be in the early perimenopause period. Another case if you experience an intermenstrual pause for at least 60 days, you may be at the end of perimenopause.
  • Mood changes. Irritability or increased risk of depression can occur during perimenopause.
  • Sleep disorders and hot flashes. Women will feel a sudden warm sensation on the face, neck, and chest (hot flashes) which is usually common during perimenopause. These hot flashes can cause sleep disorders.
  • Impaired bladder and vaginal function. When estrogen levels decrease, the vaginal lining will lose lubricating fluid and elasticity resulting in pain during intercourse. Lack of estrogen can also make women more at risk of urinary tract infections or vaginal infections.
  • Changes in sexual function. Women's encouragement and sexual desire will decrease when entering the perimenopause phase.
  • Decreased fertility. Because the frequency of ovulation becomes uncertain, a woman's ability to get pregnant will also decrease.
  • Bone loss. Women will be more prone to osteoporosis due to a decrease in the hormone estrogen.
  • Changes in cholesterol levels. The fall in estrogen levels can also increase levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. In addition, good cholesterol levels (HDL) will also decrease with age. Both of these will increase the risk of heart disease.

Causes and Risk Factors of Perimenopause

The production of the hormone progesterone and estrogen in a woman's body will experience ups and downs when going through the transition to menopause. The changes that women feel in the perimenopause phase are a result of decreased levels of the hormone estrogen.

Some things that can make women experience the perimenopause phase at a younger age are:
  • Hysterectomy. This procedure of removal of the uterus will increase the risk for a person experiencing a perimenopause period and faster menopause, especially if both ovaries (ovaries) are also removed.
  • Smoke. Female smokers experience menopause more quickly 1-2 years than women who do not smoke.
  • Cancer treatment. Chemotherapy or pelvic radiation therapy can cause early menopause.
  • Heredity factor. Women who have relatives with a history of early menopause are more at risk of experiencing the same condition.

Perimenopause diagnosis

To diagnose whether a woman is in perimenopause the doctor will refer to a number of factors, such as symptoms or changes that the patient feels, menstrual history, and their age.

In addition, doctors will usually recommend doing a blood test to see hormone levels in the patient's body. This test must be done several times to see changes in hormone levels that do occur during perimenopause.

Perimenopause treatment

Perimenopause is a natural condition that cannot be avoided by every woman. Therefore, no medication is needed to overcome this condition. However, some medications may be prescribed by a doctor to relieve the symptoms experienced, including:
  • Hormone therapy. Systemic estrogen therapy remains the most effective treatment for relieving perimenopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes and night sweats. This type of estrogen hormone therapy also varies, ranging from pills, paste drugs on the skin, gel, or cream.
  • Vaginal estrogen. To deal with vaginal dryness, the hormone estrogen can be inserted into the vagina using a tablet, ring, or vaginal cream. Vaginal estrogen can also reduce pain during sexual intercourse and urinary disorders experienced by women during perimenopause.
  • Gabapentin. In addition to dealing with seizures, this drug can also reduce hot flashes. Gabapentin can also be used in female patients who cannot take estrogen therapy.
  • Antidepressants. Some antidepressants can reduce hot flashes due to perimenopause. This drug is commonly prescribed for those who cannot receive estrogen therapy for other health reasons.
Source: Caracantik.id