It’s definitely too early for perimenopause…right? Maybe not. Perimenopause is defined as the time leading up to menopause and can span not only months leading up to it but years. If you’re in your thirties or forties and experiencing some of the common symptoms of perimenopause (hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness, menstrual cycle changes) you may be perimenopausal.
Unfortunately, perimenopause isn’t diagnosed with a single test. Your healthcare provider can review your symptoms, your health history, and discuss the pros and cons of a hormonal blood test. Some women will experience a few mild symptoms, while others will experience symptoms that are severe. If you need help managing your symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your provider to get an accurate diagnosis and personalized help.
The average length of perimenopause is three to four years, but the actual length of time you’ll experience perimenopause is incredibly variable. Some women may only notice symptoms for a few months, while some women feel symptoms that stretch out up to a decade. If you’re experiencing new symptoms, discuss them with your healthcare provider. It could be signs of perimenopause or something else, and keeping the dialogue open with your provider will help to secure an appropriate diagnosis.
No! There are multiple symptom management methods that your healthcare provider can recommend. Whether you’re dealing with vaginal dryness, hot flashes or mood swings and stress, there are several natural methods of managing symptoms and some tools to help you ease any discomfort.
Once you’ve gone a full year without a menstrual cycle, you’re considered to be in menopause. It’s important to remember that even with an irregular cycle during perimenopause, you can still get pregnant during this time. Be sure to continue using your preferred contraceptive methods until you’ve confirmed with your doctor that you can discontinue their use.