Perimenopause is the span of years before menopause when a woman's hormone levels and menstrual periods become irregular. Perimenopause has been described as "going through menopause" or "being in menopause."
After 1 year of having no periods, a woman has reached menopause. This is usually around age 50. In the years before menopause, changing hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, cause perimenopausal symptoms. These typically start in a woman's mid-40s, and they continue for a year or two after menopause.
Some women have mild perimenopausal symptoms. Others have severe symptoms that affect their sleep and daily lives. Symptoms can include:
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise