Premenopause or perimenopause is the period before the actual onset of menopause when a woman experiences declining estrogen levels and a reduction of her menstrual cycles. It may start as early as 35 and as late as the age of 60.
Its onset is depicted by an imbalance in the 3 main reproductive hormones namely estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. A fall in either of these is manifested in the form of early symptoms of menopause or premenopause. Here are some of the top symptoms of premenopause.
Major Symptoms Of Premenopause
One of the most significant indications of your changing body is the reduction in frequency and intensity of the menstrual cycles. The cycles may become lighter, scantier and may not occur every month. This generally begins to occur closer to the age of 40 in an average woman. Of course it can be later or earlier for other women.
Hot flashes may begin to occur as one of the first or earliest signs of menopause. These are characterized by an intense feeling of heat or a flushing of skin around the head, face and neck.
The woman may sweat and often become breathless. A lot of women complain of feeling claustrophobic. The hot flashes may be initially infrequent but may become more intense and regular as the woman approaches menopause.
Acute bone loss occurs in premenopausal women. The bone mass decreases and may predict the onset of osteoporosis if the woman is not careful. This can be successfully warded off by an increase in the intake of calcium, regular exercise and strength training for strong bones and joints.
No longer can you boast of an elevated metabolism and fit into your skinny jeans. For a vast majority of premenopausal woman, this becomes a distant dream.
Many of them begin to gain rapid weight especially around their bellies, thighs and hips. Of course if you are diligent about your diet and exercise, this can be averted or minimized.
The combined effect of hot flashes, palpitations and tremors can lead to disturbed and insufficient sleep at night. Most women have trouble falling asleep at night. This can aggravate their symptoms and make them feel irritable, cranky and depressed.
Another obvious feature of premenopause is acute vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse. Most women stop enjoying sex and start to experience a dip in their libidos.
This can be treated with arousing and adequate foreplay and the use of artificial lubes which may give superficial lubrication.
Hair Thinning And Hair Loss
After pregnancy it is menopause which causes a woman to lose her hair. She may suffer from premature balding and thinning of hair. This can be prevented by proper hair care techniques and a good diet. A lot of times exercise helps too as it restores blood circulation to the roots of the hair.
Symptoms of premenopause can differ from woman to woman. They are bearable and can be minimized by early and timely hormone replacement therapy which also reduces bone loss.