We start with the obvious question…
1. What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the transitional phase before menopause. It happens when your body starts to produce less oestrogen, which signals that your reproductive years are ending. It usually starts in your forties and lasts until menopause sets in.
2. What are the symptoms of perimenopause?
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood changes
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular periods
- Loss of libido
- Muscle aches
- Dry skin
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
3. How do I know if I’m entering perimenopause?
During perimenopause your body starts to experience hormonal changes, with the oestrogen and the progesterone running out of sync with each other.
You may notice changes to your periods, hot flashes, and sweats.
4. Do all women enter the perimenopause phase?
Yes, every woman goes through perimenopause. However, not every woman has the same journey. Some find it’s barely noticeable, but for others it brings a rollercoaster of emotions and hormonal fluxes. It usually lasts for four years, but it can be much longer or shorter.
5. Can I still fall pregnant during perimenopause?
Until you’ve reached menopause (12 months without a period), you can still get pregnant. The chances are lower, but contraceptives are still recommended if you’re not trying to conceive.
6. How will perimenopause affect my libido?
Perimenopause happens as your body starts producing less testosterone and oestrogen. Both of these hormones influence your sex drive, so your libido might start to drop. The changes might also make you feel tired or depressed want to participate less.
Hormone changes can also cause physical changes. Many women gain weight during menopause, which can affect your self-esteem and sexual desire. You might also experience vaginal dryness or atrophy, which can make sex uncomfortable.
7. Will perimenopause affect my emotional state?
Oestrogen is a hormone which affects the way your brain functions. When your body starts producing less of it, your emotional state may change. You might feel more irritable, impatient, or even aggressive sometimes.
Perimenopause can also cause brain fog and difficulty sleeping, which might make you feel more stressed or fatigued. You might also experience difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and mood swings as a result.
Perimenopause has also been associated with depression and anxiety, which can be severe in some women. If your perimenopause symptoms are starting to impact your day-to-day life, it’s important to seek medical help.
8. What can I do to counter the symptoms of perimenopause?
Perimenopause can’t be stopped, but there are plenty of things that can help manage the symptoms. Talk to our specialists at Northside Gynaecology about the best options.
Medical treatments usually aim to reduce symptoms by regulating your hormone levels. This might be done using birth control pills, progesterone injections, or fitting a vaginal ring which slowly releases hormones for a few months.
Staying healthy can also help manage the effects of menopause. This includes exercising, drinking less alcohol, not smoking, getting enough rest, and following a healthy and calcium rich diet. This can also help you manage weight gain in perimenopause.
If you require further information about perimenopause, Northside Gynaecology, our doctors, or our services, then please give us a call today.
538 Gympie Road
(07) 3088 9005
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm
We are close to the Westfield in Chermside, and have free parking on site.