Peri-Menopause & Menopause: What’s the Difference?

The Unwelcome Guest

Peri-menopause is known as “pre menopause” or “early menopause”. Peri-menopause is the duration of time when your hormonal patterns and levels change and before you have your final menstrual period. On average, this lasts 5-10 years and typically begins around age 35. During peri-menopause, a woman’s progesterone levels begin to decline and become erratic. Premenstrual symptoms and increased menstrual bleeding are often the first signs of the beginning of peri-menopause. Like menopause, peri-menopause is a normal part of a woman's aging process.

Menopause, by definition, is the cessation of menstrual cycles for at least 12 consecutive months. Once a woman enters into menopause, her ovaries stop ovulating and producing eggs. Along with this cessation of ovulation, ovarian production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone decline, often affecting our feeling of youth and vibrancy.

The fluctuating hormone levels through peri-menopause and menopause can send you on an emotional rollercoaster. As named in Suzanne Somers book: The Sexy Years, The seven dwarves of menopause (Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and All-Dried Up) have stopped in and are in no hurry to leave on their own. Menstrual cycles that once ran like clockwork start to become sporadic and erratic. Bleeding and spotting may become heavier before your periods finally stop altogether. Your emotions may have become seemingly uncontrollable, and grumpy and tired has taken over where happy and lively once lived.

Long before a woman’s menstruation stops, she will already have noticed some changes. Menstruation changes and symptoms such as decreased energy, change in mood, decreased libido and forgetfulness may be present. It is important to know that the bigger picture is declining hormone production. Menopause is a natural process, and there is no way to stop it from occurring. However, how you deal with this process can make a difference on how you feel. Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy helps manage the symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause, and can help you to feel your best through these natural changes.

Symptoms of Peri-Menopause and Menopause

  • Hot Flashes
  • Headaches
  • Irregular Periods
  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Hair Loss
  • Diminished Sex Drive
  • Weight Gain
  • Memory Loss
  • Night Sweats
  • Depression
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Endometriosis
  • Irritability
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Mood Swings
  • Dry Eyes

Some women go through peri-menopause and menopause without any symptoms, but approximately 75% of women in their 40’s and 50’s experience symptoms of hormone imbalance. Thankfully, Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help!