What Is the Difference Between Perimenopause and Menopause?

Understanding the difference will help you prepare for each!

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a woman talking to her doctor about menopause

You have almost certainly heard a mom, grandma, or other older woman talk about menopause. Then, there is perimenopause, which is a separate experience altogether. Wondering what is the difference between perimenopause and menopause? This guide will explore the answer to this commonly asked question.

Perimenopause vs Menopause

The terms perimenopause and menopause are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two distinct phases. Perimenopause, also known as menopause transition, is the years leading up to menopause. During this time, your ovaries begin producing fewer hormones, which causes irregular menstrual cycles. Menopause is the result of perimenopause and marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and reproductive years. Generally, it occurs once a woman does not have a period for twelve consecutive months.

When Do Most Women Enter Menopause?

Menopause and perimenopause are natural parts of aging. No matter your current age, understanding their timelines can help you embrace and prepare for these life transitions.

The perimenopause phase usually lasts for a few years and can commence anywhere from the mid-30s to mid-50s. However, it’s commonly observed to begin in the 40s, bringing along a gradual shift in menstrual patterns and hormonal fluctuations. Menopause usually begins at an average age of 51. It’s important to note that while this age range offers a general idea, individual experiences may vary, and the timing of menopause is influenced by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and health factors.

Signs and Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause

It’s not unusual to experience symptoms with perimenopause and menopause. However, the intensity and duration of these symptoms can vary widely between women. This makes it crucial for each individual to navigate this transitional phase with awareness and support. Some of the symptoms you may experience include:

  • Irregular or No Periods
  • Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Mood Swings
  • Frequent Urination
  • Changes in Libido
  • Insomnia

Can Symptoms be Treated?

While perimenopause and menopause can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, the good news is that there are many ways to effectively treat them. Given the array of treatment options, it’s important to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Many menopausal symptoms are caused by low estrogen levels, making hormone therapy a popular treatment method. This may involve taking a pill, using a patch, or applying a cream to balance the amount of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and managing stress, can also help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Personalized Menopause Treatment in Greenwood, IN

If you’re in search of a doctor to provide you with menopause treatment, look no further than Supro Direct. We have a team of skilled physicians in Greenwood, IN, ready to create a personalized plan to help you manage your symptoms and provide you relief. Fill out this form today to learn more about our services, or call us to schedule an appointment.

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