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Perimenopause

A natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.

Perimenopause | Meyer Clinic

Life Change

Women start perimenopause at different ages. Some experience signs such as menstrual irregularity in their 40s while others notice changes as early as their mid-30s.

During perimenopause the level of estrogen (the main female hormone) in the body rises and falls unevenly. Menstrual cycles change dramatically, lengthening or shortening, and often the ovaries do not release an egg (ovulate). A person can also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleep problems and vaginal dryness.

Once a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, they have officially reached menopause, and the perimenopause period is over.

Signs to Look Out For

During perimenopause the body experiences many changes. Women can experience a variety of different symptoms including: irregular periods; hot flashes and sleep problems; mood changes; vaginal and bladder problems; decreased sexual arousal and desire; fragile bones and changing cholesterol levels.

Perimenopause Treatment

Some women seek medical attention for their perimenopausal symptoms. But others either tolerate the changes or simply don’t experience symptoms severe enough to need attention. Because symptoms may be subtle and come on gradually, women may not realise at first that they’re all connected to the same thing — rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone (another key female hormone).

Our GPs will be able to talk through available options and the risks and benefits involved with each. Patients will be advised to review options regularly, as needs and treatment options may change.


Hormone Therapy

Estrogen therapy which comes in pill, skin patch, gel or cream form is an effective treatment option for relieving perimenopausal and menopausal hot flashes and night sweats. Talk to us to find out more about our hormone therapy or hormone balancing services.

Vaginal Estrogen

To relieve vaginal dryness, estrogen can be administered directly to the vagina using a vaginal tablet, ring or cream. This treatment releases a small amount of estrogen, which is absorbed by the vaginal tissue. It can help relieve vaginal dryness, discomfort with intercourse and some urinary symptoms.

Antidepressants

Certain antidepressants related to the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may reduce menopausal hot flashes. An antidepressant for management of hot flashes may be useful for women who are unable to take estrogen for health reasons or for women who need an antidepressant for a mood disorder.

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