Normal Menstrual Cycle - Perimenopausal Menstrual Cycle
which means "around menopause," refers to the 2 to 8 years of changing hormone
levels and related symptoms that lead up to
menopause. The most common sign of perimenopause is
longer, often irregular menstrual cycles that are caused by hormonal ups and
Most women start perimenopause between ages 39 and
51. Some women begin to notice menstrual changes and
premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms in their late 30s
when hormones begin to fluctuate and fertility naturally declines. Other women
don't notice perimenopausal changes until their late 40s.
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Perimenopause is a time of unpredictability. Menstrual and
hormone-related symptoms are different for every woman. Some notice few or no
changes. And others have severe symptoms that disrupt their sleep and daily
lives. As during the teen years, irregular cycles can lead to
heavy menstrual bleeding. Other common symptoms
include mild to severe
insomnia, cloudy thinking, headaches, heart
palpitations, mood swings, irritability, depression, and anxiety. Some of these
symptoms can also be related to aging and other life changes. See your doctor
to discuss your symptoms, whether you want symptom treatment, and which
therapies you can consider.