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.
By Sarah Mahoney
How to quit nitpicking
It's not even noon on a Sunday, and I've been biting my tongue all morning.
When my husband sat down to Web surf two hours ago, I resisted the urge to
remind him that he had promised to clean the basement. I held my tongue again
when our 13-year-old trashed the kitchen while creating his "it's due
tomorrow!" science project. And I even managed to stifle myself when my
teenage daughter left a plate in the sink instead of reaching 18 inches...
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.
See a doctor for menstrual bleeding
that lasts longer than 7 days or for cycles that are shorter than 21 days or
longer than 35 days.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this