Perimenopause Panic: How to Deal with its Signs, Stages & Symptoms?


Perimenopause Panic: How to Deal with its Signs, Stages & Symptoms?

A woman’s lifecycle is as rosy on the surface as it is thorny underneath. Given the layers of role-playing every woman does, her day is filled with physical and emotional challenges. Yet, she neglects her prime years to become an ideal wife, mother, daughter, and independent lady.

One of the significant physiological changes affecting every woman is ‘perimenopause’. What starts with minor physical and psychological changes in the body soon turns into constant physical and mental challenges. But how is perimenopause different from menopause, and how can women deal with its stages to ensure a smooth entry to the latter phase?

It is perceptible that the onset of perimenopause involves specific hormonal imbalances, which may lead to health complications. The good news is that you can safeguard yourself against chronic hospitalisation expenses and treatment costs with the right health insurance plan. With features like cashless hospitalisation, ambulance cover, day-care treatments, etc., Care Health Insurance Plans help you transition seamlessly through your 30s and 40s.

In this article, we will help you understand perimenopause symptoms and how to deal with the stages of perimenopause effectively.

What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause can be understood as the transition towards the stage of menopause. Also called the “evening phase”, perimenopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries generate less estrogen than her prime years.

This leads to abnormal changes in the menstrual cycle, causing periods to become irregular and inconsistent. That’s when your body signals that you are entering the menopause age while your reproductive age is about to wind up.

How is Perimenopause Different from Menopause?

Perimenopause simply means that you are "around menopause", i.e. the stage preceding the menopause. During this time, the female bodies gradually transition towards the menopause stage—thereby concluding the reproductive years.

The changes occurring during the stages of perimenopause are much similar to stages of menopause. The only difference is that the intensity of these physiological changes is milder in perimenopause age and may go unnoticed by some women.

What is the Average Perimenopause Age?

Although the transition towards menopause can begin in some women in their late 30s, the average perimenopause age is 40-44.

Does Perimenopause Relate to Early Menopause? 

Contrary to the misconception, perimenopause is not equivalent to premature menopause. Premature menopause is a medical condition wherein the ovaries completely discontinue producing estrogen at a young age. As a result, both menstruation and ovulation stop at an early age.

Here’s your guide to less-know facts about perimenopause: 

  • Perimenopause symptoms become evident in every woman at a different age.  So, it’s okay if you are in your mid-30s and notice early signs of transition towards menopause, such as missed periods or night sweats. 
  • Although the average perimenopause age is the early 40s, noticing perimenopause symptoms at an early age does not imply premature menopause.
  • While preimenopause is occurs naturally, premature menopause is triggered due to unnatural causes, such as unhealthy habits like smoking or excessive drinking, or due to specific medical treatments like hysterectomy.

stage of menopause

What are the Perimenopause Symptoms?

Women may not notice any significant symptoms of perimenopause. Here are some palpable signs of perimenopause:

Hot flashes: This is a common symptom of perimenopause. Hot flashes refer to the sudden warm feeling and a “heat wave” travelling through your body, often followed by night sweats. However, the intensity, frequency, and duration of hot flashes may differ in all women. 

Sleeping Disorders: Since hot flashes and night sweats often occur at midnight, you may struggle with a disturbed sleeping routine. 

Mood Swings: The feeling of “what happens during menopause” may cause you to take unnecessary stress leading to  depression and anxiety. To manage your mood swings and anxiety, you should adhere to regular meditation and yoga routines.  

Reduced Fertility: Another common perimenopause symptoms is an irregular ovulation cycle. This can be mistaken as early menopause since it is a transitionary phase in your life.

Is it Possible to Get Pregnant During Perimenopause?

Perimenopause only leads to irregular ovulation cycles, which is not a sign of despair. You should be able to conceive if you have menstrual periods, even if they are irregular.

Tips to Maintain Your Cool When Struggling with Perimenopause?

Whenever you consult your gynecologist regarding perimenopause's physiological and mental impacts, s/he may prescribe you a customised treatment to mitigate the symptoms. However, your doctor also guides you on the judicious use of medication while advising treatment only if it is indispensable. You must carefully listen and follow the advice to ensure a smooth transition through the stages of perimenopause.

Here are some essential tips  to cope with the perimenopause effects:

Limit the use of Antidepressants & Birth Control Pills: Antidepressants are necessary to relieve extreme mood swings or uncontrollable depression. Similarly, contraceptive pills help stabilise your hormonal imbalance during perimenopause age. Yet, you should only consume these medications if the symptoms worsen and need immediate treatment. Unnecessary dosage or overdose of these pills can lead to severe side effects.

Hormonal Therapy: The most evident sign of premenopause is the lower production of estrogen hormone in the ovaries— disturbing the ovulation and menstruation processes. However, effective hormonal treatment can stabilise the estrogen levels in you. Your doctor may administer the estrogen dose as an ointment, gel, patch or tablet. It is crucial to follow your doctor’s advice while undergoing such therapy honestly.

Never take seizure medication without a doctor’s advice: Some women consume anticonvulsant medicines such as Neurontin without a prescription in case of hot flashes. This drug relieves seizure attacks related to hot flashes. However, the wrong dosage can lead to severe side effects such as panic attacks or suicidal thoughts. It is advised to take such drugs only on medical observation.

Intimate Hygiene Solutions: You can preferably use sanitary products for intimate hygiene. You may apply an appropriate vaginal cream or gel as your gynaecologist directs. Such products can mitigate your pain or irritation due to vaginal dryness.

What are the signs perimenopause is ending?

It is important to note that perimenopause is a temporary transitionary phase lasting for only 12 months. Here are the five signs that perimenopause is ending and you have now entered the menopause stage:

More delayed periods: If the time between your periods has increased, it is a sign that the perimenopause stage is about to end. After 12 months, if your periods have stopped, it is confirmed that you have attained menopause age.

No Headache: One of the evident signs that perimenopause is ending is that you will not suffer from depression or headaches any more.

No Mood Swings: Due to the menopausal transition, you will experience frequent mood swings until perimenopause ends.

Frequent Hot-flashes: As you enter the menopause stage, you will face more frequent hot-flashes than before.

Lack of sleep: Due to menopause, you will start struggling with lack of sleep.

In a nutshell, taking care of your body is important—especially as a woman. To ensure healthcare and financial security, you should opt for the right health insurance plan. At Care Insurance, we offer customised Mediclaim policies with coverage options up to 6 crores, ensuring protection from minor and chronic ailments with a lifetime renewability facility.

Know in detail how to deal with the mental effects of menopause.

Disclaimer - The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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