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Menopause – Stages and Symptoms

February 20, 2021
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Patients frequently ask me, am I perimenopausal? Am I menopausal? Am I post-menopausal? So the way that it goes is pre-menopause is when you're a teens to early twenties, you're cycling, you're fertile, then you become peri-menopausal. And this is in your mid to late thirties, early forties. At this time, women will report irregular periods. Sometimes they'll have worsening of their PMS. Other symptoms may develop. Mild hot flashes or night sweats. Sometimes perimenopausal women will experienced weight gain, especially around the trunk and middle area. Sometimes they'll experience more moodiness, becoming more irritable and short fused, or even weepy and depressed. But that's a time that's very difficult and challenging to transition into. And the symptoms that occur are due to rises and falls of estrogen, the ups and downs, that presence and absence of estrogen. That's what creates all the moodiness and symptoms and bloating and PMS and all that stuff that we experienced during the peri-menopause. After the perimenopause, then we transition into menopause, which occurs when you haven't had a period for at least 12 months and get the menopause, all of those symptoms that occurred during the perimenopause happen, plus a couple of new ones, and the new ones are hot flashes and night sweats, fatigue, weight gain, difficulty falling asleep, and staying asleep. I already mentioned the moodiness, low libido, low sexual desire verging on absence of sexual desire, and vaginal dryness. Those are the most common symptoms of menopause.

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