Perimenopause: Symptoms and Complications

Perimenopause basically means “around menopause” and refers to the time in the course of which your body makes the transition to menopause, marking the stop of the reproductive years. Perimenopause is also called the menopausal transition. Transitioning into menopause can be a difficult time for some women. Your hormone levels drop quickly, which causes your monthly cycle to slow to a stop and indicates a few other not-so-fun symptoms. The change in hormone levels that occur during perimenopause and menopause can also add cause mental as well as bodily influences on women. If this sounds familiar, you should not worry.



The transition into menopause can be a tough time for some women. Your hormone levels drop quickly, causing your periods to stop and some other not uncommon symptoms like hot flashes to begin.
But these changes can also affect the chemicals in your body. Like, changes in hormone levels that occur in your body during perimenopause and menopause can sometimes make you feel anxious or depressed.
Changes in hormone levels can affect neurotransmitters in the brain. For example, the drop in estrogen levels can also lead to hot flashes that disrupt sleep, leading to anxiety and mood swings. If you experience symptoms of depression almost every day for two weeks or more, you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about the treatment that is right for you. Your doctor will also want to rule out medical causes for your depression.

Skin and Hair Change

They do not call menopause ‘the change’ for nothing. If you see modifications on your hair and pores, and skin during menopause, you may generally blame swiftly declining levels of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen promotes water retention and plumpness in the pores and skin, so you lose some molecules that keep the skin moisturized while estrogen drops. Estrogen additionally contributes to hair growth, density, and fullness. Without it, your hair may also become thinner. During menopause, women may notice their hair is thinning or shedding more. As hormones shift, you can be aware of hair at the upper lip or chin. Some girls get zits throughout their lives, while others get greater zits when estrogen levels drop after menopause.

Weight Gain

Our metabolism slows down every year as we get older. It is common during menopause to see a significant drop in a sluggish metabolism, which means that even if women in their 50s ate the same healthy diet as they did in their 30s, they are more likely to gain weight and make it much harder to shed pounds you already gained. As a result, it is harder to lose weight. As if that wasn’t frustrating enough, midlife pounds tend to wrap around the waist. Unfortunately, the extra fat in the abdomen increases the risk of heart problems. Hence, it is worth making changes to keep your weight in the healthy range as you get older.

Memory Loss

While in your 50s, you are one of many other women with memory problems or ‘brain fog’ – a sudden inability to remember simple facts, names, or dates. Do not worry because it is a typical symptom of menopause and pregnancy. Midlife Brain fog can be treatable. Hormone therapy has proved to sharpen the mind during menopause and protect you from further memory loss. Post-menopausal hormone therapy can also provide memory-related health benefits, according to the National Institutes of Health | USA. Exercising your brain is another way to stay mentally healthy. Ask your doctor to discuss if there is any significant memory deterioration throughout menopause.


Irregular menstruation is a hallmark of perimenopause. Most of the time, this is normal, and there is nothing to worry about. However, contact your doctor if:

  • Periods regularly occur less than 21 days apart.
  • Bleeding lasts longer than seven days
  • Bleeding gets extremely heavy.


To help you get through menopause, consider these lifestyle choices that will go a long way towards keeping perimenopause symptoms under control:

  • Eat a balanced diet high in calcium.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Apply stress management techniques.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • List personal triggers (such as spicy food or hot showers) that can make hot flashes worse.

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