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Pre-Menopause vs. Peri-Menopause: What’s the Difference?

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Pre-Menopause vs. Peri-Menopause: What’s the Difference?

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As a woman, you have been used to feeling like you are on a roller coaster when it comes to your reproductive hormones. The journey began when you were in your early teens and you had your first period. Ever since then, you’ve experienced many ups and downs. Your reproductive hormones can make your weight fluctuate and cause you to be extremely moody. You don’t even want to get started about what they did to you while you were pregnant.

As you get older and the age of 40 approaches, you’ll have to prepare yourself for the next stage of life that could really turn your life upside down. We’re talking about menopause. Before you can get to that final stage when your reproductive system completely shuts down, you should be aware of other changes that you can expect. You’re sure to hear many phrases, including pre-menopause and peri-menopause. You’re probably wondering what the difference is between the two. Once you understand, you can prepare for what awaits you.

Understanding Pre-Menopause

Pre-menopause is the stage that leads up to peri-menopause as you get older. This is the time period that affects most women in their late thirties and early forties. At this point, you are still having regular periods. Life is continuing as normal, but your body is getting ready for the transition into menopause. While everything may seem like it is the way that it should be, changes are happening within your body. Your estrogen and progesterone levels may begin to change, but not to such a degree that you notice anything different.

What is Peri-Menopause All About?

Peri-menopause is the stage that occurs before menopause. This is the point when you have a significant drop in estrogen levels and you begin to experience all of the troublesome symptoms that come with the shutdown of your reproductive system. Hot flashes and night sweats are typical. You may find that you suffer from bouts of insomnia. Your moods will be all over the place. Sexual libido tends to drop at this time as vaginal discomfort strikes, including dryness and irritation. You may suffer from female incontinence due to irritation of your urethra and a weakening of your pelvic muscles. This is the point when your period becomes irregular as well. You may miss periods, have shorter menstrual cycles or suffer from longer cycles. It will feel like your body is out of control.

Talk to Our Doctor About Pre-Menopause and Peri-Menopause

If you are getting closer to the typical age when menopause occurs, talk to our doctor at Age Management Center of New England about pre-menopause and peri-menopause. It’s especially important that you make an appointment if you begin to have symptoms of peri-menopause. Menstrual irregularities, female incontinence and mood swings can make your life miserable. Our doctor can help you by recommending lifestyle changes and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. You can also rule out any other problems, such as thyroid issues or troubles with your reproductive system. We have locations in Portland and Jupiter. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.