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aperi_menopauseIs It Menopause or Peri-Menopause?

We can all remember how easy it was when our monthly period began. One day there it was, and puberty set in. Going into menopause isn't easy and most women will have fits and starts through what is know as "peri-menopause" before they can say they have  finally experienced "menopause".  So at what point does this huge transition in a woman's life become the "real thing"?

Symptoms of Peri Menopause

As all women know when we reach our early to mid fifties odds are we will go into menopause. For some of us it can happen earlier, in the mid to late forties. In fact this is the age group in which some women start to experience menopausal symptoms but haven’t officially gone into full-blown menopause.  This condition is known as peri-Menopause.

Peri-Menopausal symptoms are very similar to those of actual menopause, except for one important factor; a woman will still have a monthly period. They just may find that it’s no longer monthly, but maybe every other month or every three months. So what are the actual symptoms of peri-menopause. Here is a list of some of the classic symptoms of this condition, please note that not every woman will have all these symptoms when in Peri-Menopause.

  • Hot and cold flashes.
  • Missed monthly cycles
  • Hormonal imbalances that make you feel irritable.
  • Heavier and maybe longer periods when you do have one.
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of bone mass, due to declining calcium levels.
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness, or light headedness
  • Weight gain

These symptoms are similar to that of menopause, except of course for the fact that there is no monthly period. Most doctors will tell you that you haven’t technically reached menopause until you haven’t had a monthly period for almost a year.  This fact  may still have some of you scratching your head and going, "wait, I am having some of these symptoms;  but I have been told that I am in the early stages of menopause. Now I’m being informed that this is peri-menopause, so, which is it?

 Pre-Menopause and Peri-Menopause:  The Distinction

The fact is: some doctors will refer to this time as "entering into menopause",  others will call it pre-menopause and of course others will refer to it as Peri-Menopause, but its all the same thing. perimenopause is the transition where a woman is entering into the stage of early menopause.

So how long does peri-menopause last?  Some women deal with this condition for years, while for others the transition is very crisp.  No two women are exactly alike.

Emotional and Social Implications of Peri-Menopause

Now that we have discussed the physical symptoms of Peri-Menopause, what about the emotional state of it? Because of this society's take on "aging" issues there is a sense of denial when women are informed that they are showing signs of entering menopause. 

Women may wrongly believe that this change is one that makes them "less than".   Nothing could be further from the truth.  Once child bearing years are over a whole new part of a woman's life can begin.  Many women, once the physical symptoms have subsided, will realize that this point of their life is liberating.

No more monthly periods with the discomfort and inconvenience that they often elicited.  A woman's beauty and sexiness will change but is intact.  In fact, once the transition is complete, it's hard to find a woman who wants to "go back" to her younger days.

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