From an Interview with
Dr. Chelsea Hughes
McLeod OB/GYN Dillon
“Peri-” as a prefix means “near” or “around.” In that sense Perimenopause is the period near menopause. McLeod OB/GYN Dr. Chelsea Hughes explains what a woman can expect in perimenopause.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Hughes comments:
Perimenopause is a transitional phase — the part of life, where a woman starts to evolve into menopause. It usually happens a few years before you start to go into menopause and lasts until menopause. So, the most common things that women experience are some hot flashes and start to notice that their periods get further apart and eventually start skipping periods.
For premature menopause, more commonly used terms are premature ovarian failure or ovarian insufficiency. It occurs when your body goes into menopause early, often much earlier than it should. It’s defined by going into menopause before age 40 rather than closer to age 50. A woman experiences symptoms of menopause — hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, difficulty sleeping and mood changes. If you experience any of those, notify your OB GYN know, because it’s actually something that we want to know about earlier rather than later. Premature menopause increases your risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. So, we treat that if that happens early.
Perimenopause causes changes in your bleeding. That’s normal, but if you’re having heavy periods, then that might not be normal. And so, you should really go to your OB GYN to get that checked out.
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