Perimenopause starts several years before menopause. It is the time when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less oestrogen as the body prepares for menopause. Usually, women enter perimenopause around 47 years of age, and it can last for four to ten years. Women may notice that their cycle starts becoming more irregular as oestrogen begins diminishing.
Menopause follows perimenopause when the ovaries stop producing and releasing eggs. A woman is officially in menopause when she has not had a period for 12 months. On average, women enter this stage of life at age 51. Some women have premature menopause, which can begin as early as age 40.
Many women also experience some uncomfortable symptoms during perimenopause and/or menopause, which can include:
- Hot flushes
- Breast tenderness
- Lower sex drive
- Vaginal dryness and/or discomfort during sex
- Urine leakage when coughing and sneezing
- Urinary urgency
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
If you think you may be in perimenopause or menopause, it’s important to see your gynaecologist, especially if you are experiencing changes to your period or have any bleeding after menopause.
Our specialists can also work with you to manage your symptoms through hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). With a doctor’s supervision, HRT can relieve menopausal symptoms. In some cases, bio-identical anti-ageing therapy is available.