There’s no clear signs or tests that show you’ve entered perimenopause. Instead, it’s a gradual transition beginning a few years before menopause and is determined by a variety of factors including age, symptoms, and body changes you might be experiencing. This usually starts when a woman is in her 40’s, but in some cases earlier. Perimenopause is a transitory phase that lasts until the ovaries stop releasing eggs. This article is going to describe the symptoms of perimenopause and what some of your treatment options are.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
Perimenopause generally lasts four years, but in some cases longer. There are various symptoms of the condition that includes:
- Hot flashes
- Mood Swings
- Irregular menses
- Difficulty sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased fertility
- Pain during intercourse
- Weight gain
- Loss of bone density
These are just a few of the symptoms of perimenopause, but the severity of them may vary. For this reason, if you are experiencing one or more of these, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor who may elect to do a hormone test to determine what treatment options are suitable for you.
Different Options for Treating Perimenopause
For more severe perimenopause symptoms, many doctors use hormones targeted for women. There are likewise many different options here that are similar to menopause treatments which your doctor will prescribe to more specifically treat your unique symptoms. They include:
- Hormone Therapy– estrogen treatment through pill, gel, skin patch or cream form. This is the most common treatment options and is the best at reducing hot flashes and night sweats. Your dosage will depend on your medical and family history.
- Antidepressants– Select antidepressants may reduce hot flashes and other symptoms, and these are effective for those who cannot take estrogen for some reason.
- Vaginal estrogen– Estrogen can also be administered directly into the vagina via tablet, cream or ring. This releases a small dose to the area to help your relieve dryness, discomfort during intercourse, and other symptoms like hot flashes, headaches, and fatigue.
- Gabapentin– Gabapentin is another option for when estrogen cannot be used. It typically used to treat seizures but is also useful in preventing migraines and reducing hot flashes.
In addition to HRT therapy, there are several lifestyle choices you can make that will help reduce your perimenopause symptoms. Make sure that you are making healthy eating decisions, and that your diet is rich in calcium. Another way to reduce symptoms is to maintain a consistent sleep schedule as best as possible, especially during the days you engage in exercise. Bone density is a major indicator of estrogen deficiency. If you continue to experience symptoms, consult with your doctor about taking a supplement to fight bone density loss.
Getting the Right Treatment for You
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then you’ll want to consult with your doctor. Before you go, it’s helpful for you to track any changes in your health or menstrual cycle along with making a list of any symptoms you may be suffering from, and also making a list of your medications. This will help your doctor find the best options for you. Perimenopause is something each woman goes through, but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. With the right course of treatment, you can live a happy and healthy life.