When it comes to menopause, many women do not realize there is a time known as perimenopause, a predecessor to the whole body changing process. At this time, hormones will begin to slowly become imbalanced. Periods may be heavier or lighter. Cycles may begin earlier or later than expected. If at the right age for menopause, the menstrual cycle, and it gradual uncertainties, may be the first clue that a woman is in the pre-stages of her menopause years. Besides irregularities with a monthly cycle, other symptoms may strongly indicate that menopause is inevitable. The positive side of perimenopause is its preparation for the actual process ahead.
Hot flashes, the annoying feeling of the body suddenly overheating and sweating for no apparent reason, are another perimenopause symptom. This is usually suffered by the upper area of the body, with facial and neck flushing. The arms, chest, and back are also affected as splotches of red may appear while the body is panting for cooler air. Some women suffer more than other with these waves of heat. They will also vary in intensity. The hot flashes which will awaken a woman in the night are known as night sweats. These may either be intense enough to warrant a change in sleepwear, or pass with a few minor flutters of a fan for relief.
Vaginal and Bladder Changes
Vaginal and bladder changes as a result of a drop in estrogen may or may not cause problems for women during perimenopause. Such changes in the vagina include a thinning of the vaginal walls, causing a feeling of dryness, and painful sexual contact. The environment of the vaginal area during the pre-menopause years is also a perfect setting for urinary tract infections, as the bladder is affected, as well. Some women will suffer from urine leakage when laughing, exercising, coughing, running, and sneezing.
Sex life during the perimenopause years may or may not suffer due to the body’s hormone changes. The vaginal dryness may be the culprit of the problems in the bedroom area. However, there are plenty of lubricants on the market today which will help rectify the problem of vaginal dryness. There are some women who have a new appreciation for sex during perimenopause. And, many have a better sex life after menopause is over and done with. Birth control should be taken into consideration during the perimenopause and menopause years. Also, due to the vaginal environment during this time, a woman is more prone to sexually transmitted diseases.
Either hormone replacement therapy or homeopathic remedies can be used during the years of perimenopause and menopause. Synthetic hormones may be suggested by a doctor for severe symptoms. At the same time, they should be avoided if a woman is predisposed to breast cancer or heart disease. Alternative treatments include supplements of Evening Primrose Oil to increase estrogen, Belladonna or Vitamin C and Bioflavonoid for hot flashes, Brewers Yeast for a better calcium level, or Sepia for anxiety. There are many options to alleviate the aggravating symptoms of perimenopause.