Perimenopause can begin as early as the mid-30's and can last from five to ten years. During this time a women can experience some crazy symptoms. These may include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal Dryness
- Cholesterol level changes
- Loss of bone mass
- Bleeding issues...heavy bleeding, periods that last a long time, spotting between periods, and periods that are less than 21 days apart
There are several risk factors that can make these symptoms more severe and bring on perimenopause and menopause early. These include smoking, a family history, and certain cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
The good news is if you have perimenipausal symptoms, they won't last. Women can also do things to ease the symptoms including exercise, calcium and Vitamin D supplements, quitting smoking, taking an anti-depressant, eating healthy, using vaginal lubricants and moisturizers, and decreasing stress through meditation.
Hormone therapy is another option that works well but can put certain women at an increased risk for cancer. If you do opt for hormones, make sure you take a combination of estrogen and progesterone. This will help to shed the uterine lining and decrease your chances of at least one cancer, uterine. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your gynecologist.
Perimenopause and menopause are a natural part of life. Try to embrace the changes and live your life fully!