Just because you aren't quite at the age to be going through menopause, doesn't mean you won't have symptoms. Perimenopause is the phase shortly before menopause, where you near the end of your last menstrual cycle. Here are some early signs of perimenopause to be on the lookout for.
1. Menstrual Cycle Changes
Before you have your final menstrual period, you might notice your cycles gradually change. You could have a different blood flow than you did previously, or you may have a longer or shorter menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, you may not notice the changes if you already have irregular menstrual cycles. It is a good idea to start tracking your cycles now if you don't do it already so you can look for changes in your normal cycle pattern.
2. Mood Swings and irritability
One of the first things you may notice is how your mood and behavior changes. Just before getting menopause or perimenopause, you may become extremely moody. You might have PMS-like symptoms all the time, such as extreme irritability, sadness or depression, anger, or discontentment. Some mood swings are subtle where you just notice you are a little more irritable than usual, while at other times the ups and downs are somewhat extreme. These mood swings might be exacerbated by stress at work or home.
3. Brief Hot Flashes
While full-fledged hot flashes are more common when you have menopause, you may notice short bursts of heat in your face when you are nearing perimenopause. It may be that you get warmer more easily even without wearing extra layers, or you might find that you get a very short hot flash that goes away quickly. These typically aren't as severe as menopause hot flashes where you experience them frequently throughout the day and night, but are brief and spaced far apart.
4. Reduced Sex Drive
Have you noticed that recently your sex drive is dropping or practically non-existent? If so, it could be due to your impending menopause. Perimenopause includes a wide-range of symptoms, and unfortunately a low interest in sex is a common symptom. Let your doctor know if you have severe changes in your libido as it might be due to menopause.
By recognizing the early warning signs of menopause, you will be able to get prepared for it and think about possible treatments. Discuss these changes with your doctor so you can decide on the right treatment options.
To learn more, contact an OBGYN office like Bay Area Women's Care.Share