How long does Perimenopause last?
Perimenopause is the transition phase from well regulated female hormonal secretion and ovum formation in a woman’s reproductive phase to permanent infertility, or menopause. In this phase a gradual shift occurs from more-or-less regular cycles of ovulation and menstruation to irregular cycles and then menopause. The oestrogen secretion from the ovaries gradually declines in the perimenopausal period and then stops completely upon entering menopause.
Menopause and perimenopause in every woman is unique and has their own time frame. However, after you start noticing age related changes in your menstrual cycle you would want to know, "How long will this go on?" Read to know how long does perimenopause last?
- The age at which perimenopause or menopause transition starts can vary like puberty. This phase of the reproductive life in most women usually starts in 40s, but can start in the 30s as well. It generally begins 8 to 10 years before your menopause.
- The most common first sign of perimenopause is changes in period (menstrual flow and cycle). Your periods may become irregular, longer, shorter, heavier or lighter than your usual cycle and sometimes less than 28 days in duration. In addition to this many women start to experience some of the menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flushes, sleep problems, mood changes and vaginal dryness.
- Several factors influence the timing and experience of menopause in a woman. Some of the factors which influence perimenopause and menopause are genetics, lifestyle, diet, stress, general health and cultural perspective.
The average length of perimenopausal phase in most women is about six years. Although this timeframe can vary considerably, every woman has her own experience of menopause. Whether you don’t have any symptom of menopause (not a single hot flash or night sweat) or continue to have them even into their sixties, both scenarios are normal. In case you have bothersome symptoms which cause difficulty or anxiety, consult your doctor.
The most common sign of menopause change in menstrual cycle might as well be the sign of some other serious medical condition such as cancer or uterine fibroid. Your doctor after examining you and after doing tests (if needed) can help you to understand how you’re doing and what to expect.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 18, 2012
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