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Menopause: Things To Expect When Approaching Perimenopause

Here we share a list of things one should expect when approaching perimenopause.

Menopause: Things To Expect When Approaching Perimenopause

Hormonal fluctuations and sleep disturbances can affect cognitive function

Perimenopause, the transition phase before menopause, typically begins in a woman's 40s but can start earlier for some. During this time, hormonal fluctuations can cause various physical and emotional changes. Read on as we share a list of things one should expect when approaching perimenopause.

Here are 9 common things to expect when approaching perimenopause:

1. Irregular periods

Hormonal shifts can cause periods to become irregular, shorter, longer, lighter, or heavier. This occurs because the ovaries are beginning to produce less oestrogen. Keeping track of your menstrual cycle can help predict when your periods might occur, and consulting with your healthcare provider about birth control or hormone therapy can help manage irregularities.

2. Hot flashes and night sweats

Fluctuations in oestrogen levels can lead to hot flashes and night sweats. These sudden feelings of heat can cause sweating and discomfort. Dressing in layers, using fans, avoiding triggers such as spicy foods and caffeine, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, and considering hormone therapy can help alleviate symptoms.

3. Mood swings

Hormonal changes can affect neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and even depression. Engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, practicing stress-reduction techniques like yoga or meditation, and seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can help manage mood changes.

4. Sleep disturbances

Hormonal fluctuations and night sweats can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor sleep quality. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, avoiding caffeine and electronic devices before bedtime, and practicing relaxation techniques can promote better sleep.

5. Vaginal dryness

Declining oestrogen levels can cause vaginal tissues to become thinner, drier, and less elastic, leading to discomfort during intercourse and an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Using over-the-counter vaginal lubricants or moisturisers, staying sexually active, and discussing hormone therapy or other treatments with your healthcare provider can help alleviate symptoms.

6. Changes in libido

Hormonal changes and other factors such as stress or relationship issues can affect sexual desire during perimenopause. Open communication with your partner, exploring new sexual activities or fantasies together, and seeking guidance from a healthcare provider or sex therapist can help address changes in libido.

7. Weight gain

Metabolic changes and hormonal fluctuations can contribute to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, during perimenopause. Maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, strength training to preserve muscle mass, and managing stress can help prevent or minimise weight gain.

8. Memory problems and concentration difficulties

Hormonal fluctuations and sleep disturbances can affect cognitive function, leading to memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and brain fog. Engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, practicing stress-reduction techniques, maintaining a healthy diet rich in brain-boosting nutrients, and staying mentally active through activities like puzzles or reading can help support cognitive function.

9. Bone density loss

Oestrogen plays a role in maintaining bone density, so declining oestrogen levels during perimenopause can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Eating a calcium-rich diet, getting enough vitamin D, engaging in weight-bearing exercises like walking or strength training, and discussing bone density screening and medication options with your healthcare provider can help protect bone health.

It's essential to remember that every woman's experience with perimenopause is unique, and consulting with a healthcare provider can provide personalised guidance and treatment options based on individual symptoms and needs.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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