Aging is difficult, that is just a fact of life. Whether you are a child growing up and entering adolescence, a young adult starting their first job and life on their own, or if you are transitioning out of middle age. There is no stopping aging and attempts to delay the aging process are only so effective. Growing older comes with myriad different changes and new obstacles. For women one of the most challenging parts of the aging process is menopause. On average women enter into menopause at fifty-one years old, however this is the average age that a woman has her last menstrual cycle, the signs and symptoms characteristic of menopause can begin to show as much as a decade earlier, sometimes more. This period of time is known as perimenopause, it is a phase in the menopausal process prior to when a woman has gone a whole year without having a period.
Perimenopause is still a relatively new term, but it has become widely used over the last several years. Perimenopause can be one of the longest lasting parts of menopause. Even women as young as their thirties may begin to notice some of the signs indicative of perimenopause. While this may not be a welcome fact, the reality is that women can begin perimenopause across a wide range of ages. Yet during perimenopause it is still possible to conceive and have a child, even if you have irregular periods or have even gone several months without one. It is only after a full year has elapsed with no menstrual cycle that a woman is no longer reproductively capable.
One of the biggest indicators of perimenopause is a noticeable irregularity in one’s periods, this can include late and missed periods. While there is a percentage of women who will likely not feel any perimenopausal symptoms, the majority of women will. The symptoms of perimenopause can be traced back to decreases in estrogen and progesterone that occur naturally when a woman reaches a certain age. Although, while hormones play a large role in the type and severity of perimenopausal symptoms, there are numerous other factors that can influence them. These other factors can include but may not be limited to fatigued adrenal glands, depleted levels of serotonin in the body, and a lack of certain necessary nutrients.