Periods Get Closer Together
For other women, their periods will start to get closer together. So instead of 28 days, it can go down to 24, 25 days. Sometimes, these periods get closer together, they can get longer, so instead of being maybe four or five days, they might start to go six to seven days as well. So you’ve got this phase of periods getting closer together, possibly getting longer, and possibly getting a bit heavier as well at this particular point.
Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause
Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.
But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different birth control methods.
You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get sexually transmitted infections . If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or dental dam correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.
Pregnancy Is Still Possible
Menopause marks the end of a females reproductive years, but it is still possible to become pregnant around or after this time.
Perimenopause can start 4 8 years before menopause. As long as menstruation continues, a person can become pregnant. However, the chances of conceiving and having a full-term pregnancy decline as a person approaches menopause.
Advances in reproductive technology mean it is also possible to become pregnant after menopause. This will usually be with donated eggs or embryos that the individual preserved earlier in life.
There may be a higher risk of pregnancy loss, preterm birth, and risks to the womans health, depending on the individuals age and health status at the time of conception.
However, as one points out, younger people who have not entered menopause may also experience similar issues.
Learn more here about becoming pregnant around the time of menopause.
Also Check: Intrarosa Pros And Cons
What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
Your body has been producing estrogen since puberty. Once your estrogen levels begin to decline, your body has to adjust to the changes in hormones.
The symptoms vary, but most people experience at least one of the following:
- Sleep problems .
- Changes in mood like irritability, depression or mood swings.
The length of time you have symptoms of perimenopause can vary between a few months to many years. The decrease in estrogen also can lead to bone thinning or changing cholesterol levels. Continue to have regular checkups with your healthcare provider to keep an eye on your health.
Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
Also Check: Menopause Dizzy Spells
How Long Do You Have To Go Without A Period To Be In Menopause
This is where it gets a bit confusing. In some circumstances, youre told that youre through the menopause when youve not had any periods for 12 months. In our experience, we find that quite a lot of women will go that year or year and a bit, and then get a single period back or they restart for a little while.
So our consensus here is that just to be on the safe side, we say that you are through the menopause after not having had any periods for 2 years . But this timescale, this is only really to do with saying that youre post-menopausal and that you are safe from pregnancy.
A lot of women think that at this point all their symptoms will disappear and they will feel fine, and everything will be back to normal. So this two years without a period really has nothing to do with the symptoms that youre getting, the symptoms you may be experiencing. So for some women, again, after the two years, they will find their symptoms start to ease off, but for other women, this symptom phase can go on for quite a bit longer.
Now, in all these circumstances, I have posted other video blogs that go into these particular circumstances in a lot more detail, so if you want to know more on this, please just click the link. But I just wanted to do one video blog on periods in general as you go through the menopause.
Symptoms Of The Menopause
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.
Common symptoms include:
- reduced sex drive
- problems with memory and concentration
Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.
Recommended Reading: Early Menopause After Tubal Ligation
What Do You Need To Know About The Menopause
The menopause is the natural process women go through as they reach a certain age and signals the point when a womans monthly periods have come to an end.
Although reaching the menopause technically means you have had your last ever period, we often use this phrase to describe the lead up to your periods stopping. Periods rarely just stop suddenly, many women experience irregular periods for some time. This might include heavier, more painful periods or lighter, less frequent ones these patterns can go on for a number of years. Every woman is different but you are generally considered to be fully through the menopause after not having a period for at least two years.
Alongside the often irregular periods, many women often experience a whole number of symptoms in the lead up to the menopause as oestrogen begins to drop, this can be anything from hot flushes to joint pain.
On this page I give a quick overview of what the menopause involves and specifically the effects it can have on the menstrual cycle. Visit A.Vogel Talks Menopause for more in-depth information and video blogs from our menopause expert Eileen.
Recommended Reading: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Lorna Could Set The Clock By Her Periods When Her Periods Became Irregular She Knew The
Menopause. I think the first time I was aware was about when I was about 51, 52. 51 probably. When my periods started to not be as regular as they were. Now you could set a clock by my periods. Okay. Twenty eight days more or less to the hour, almost to the minute I mean it was amazing, and just as regular as clockwork. And they started to not be the regular twenty eight. And there were delays, the period extended. So I knew that this was the start of the menopause because Id been so incredibly regular for so many years.
Also Check: Tubal Ligation And Early Menopause
Missed Periods Intermittent Spotting Heavy Bleeding And Flooding
Changes in periods vary widely as hormones adjust. As mentioned in other parts of this site this is a time to really tune into your body and trust your instincts. As you can see from this list it’s hard to define what perimenopause periods are like:
Periods can disappear for a year and then return.
My Second Spring E-book
The Best Friends Guide: Anxiety – A Practical Toolkit For Moving Beyond Anxiety at Menopause – 12
Thanks Girls another great book ! Well done My Second Spring, the advice is practical, down to earth and Im already working on my toolkit. Thank you so much
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Perimenopause Complications
Irregular periods are the most common symptom of perimenopause. But its important to know when to talk to your healthcare provider about your periods. Sometimes, irregular bleeding can point to an underlying problem.
You can lower your risk of complications by seeking treatment when necessary. Talk to your healthcare provider if you:
- Bleed for more than seven days in a row.
- Bleed between periods.
- Change pads or tampons every one to two hours.
- Have periods more frequently than every 21 days.
You May Like: Can Menopause Cause Dizziness And Lightheadedness
What Age Is Considered Early For Menopause
If you reach menopause before age 40, that is considered premature menopause, says Faubion. This occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of women, she says.
Experiencing menopause at 40 to 45 years of age is called early menopause, and that occurs in about 5 to 7 percent of the population, so its safe to say that at least 7 percent of women are going to go through menopause early or prematurely, says Faubion. Menopause at age 46 or older is considered normal, she says.
How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About
Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause, but other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a healthcare provider to rule out other causes.
- Your periods are changing to become very heavy or accompanied by blood clots.
- Your periods last several days longer than usual.
- You spot or bleed after your period.
- You experience spotting after sex.
- Your periods occur closer together.
Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include perimenopausal hormonal imbalances, infection, pregnancy-related bleeding, fibroids, blood-clotting problems, endometrial polyps, miscarriage, taking blood thinners or cancer.
Recommended Reading: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause
What Is The Perimenopause
The period of time from when you start to get menopausal symptoms to when your periods eventually stop altogether is known as the perimenopause.
During the perimenopause the ovaries start to function erratically and decline in function. Your periods may become irregular and may become lighter or heavier than usual. You may also have symptoms of oestrogen deficiency, such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness and sweats.
The perimenopause lasts about 4 to 8 years on average, until a womans very last period.
You are said to be postmenopausal once youve had 12 consecutive months of no periods.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
Discuss your perimenopause symptoms with your healthcare provider. It might help to keep a journal of your menstrual cycles including when they start and stop and the amount of bleeding.
Some questions you should ask are:
- Are these symptoms of perimenopause?
- What can I do to relieve my symptoms?
- How long do you think I will have these symptoms?
- Would hormone therapy be an option for me?
- Do I need to start taking medication or vitamins?
- Are there any tests that should be done?
- Can I still become pregnant?
You May Like: Perimenopause Light Headed
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Karens Heavy Bleeding And Clotting While On Hrt Was Totally Inconvenient And Interfered With
Was it heavy bleeding?Not all the time. It was clotted at points, which I think thats when it started really getting to my brain that this was totally inconvenient. If you went anywhere you had to go prepared so it was actually interfering with my general life. It affects almost everything you do, as I say, even going shopping, youve got to go prepared. I needed to know where the nearest loo was. Even going out for meals with friends, everything like that, it does affect you and it affects how you feel. And your moods, your tempers and not wanting to go out and holidays become even more difficult, youve got small children who want to go swimming.And then I think it must have been, Im trying to think when it was, must have been after about six years it became that my periods were going on and they were forced periods because of the HRT, but they were lasting longer than the days that I had off and I was feeling generally unwell and the doctor was still quite happy that I should stay on HRT. All that he really checked was my blood pressure and my weight and they seemed to be okay. Eventually he referred me to a gynaecologist at it was quite quick and they did a scan and said that Id got quite large polyps and fibroids. And they whipped me in the hospital quite quickly.
Recommended Reading: Menopause Dizziness Treatment
General Recommendations For Ht
Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:
- HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
- HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
- Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
- Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a woman’s specific health profile.
- HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.
Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.
Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:
Understanding The Menopausal Transition
Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly.
The menopausal transition affects each woman uniquely and in various ways. The body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily. You may experience changes in your bone or heart health, your body shape and composition, or your physical function.
Recommended Reading: Tubal Ligation Early Menopause
Irregular Periods In Your 40s Is It Perimenopause Or Something Else
If youre in your mid- to late 40s and your periods are becoming irregular, you may be in the menopausal transition, or perimenopause. This is the natural stage your body goes through as you approach menopause.
This stage lasts about four years on average, although some women may experience only a few months or many more years of symptoms. It is characterized by fluctuations in hormones as your ovaries are nearly out of eggs. Your estrogen levels drop and you may have markedly irregular menstrual cycles. On top of irregular periods, hormonal changes can lead to weight gain, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and depression.
Perimenopause ends with menopause, at which point you have not had a period for 12 months.
Sallies Periods Were Irregular For Two Or Three Years Before They Stopped
I cant remember when it started but I think the first thing I noticed was irregularity with periods. They seemed to come whenever they wanted to basically. Sometimes two close together and then gradually they were getting further and further apart. I think that at first they were longer and heavier and then shorter and lighter as I went through it. With longer periods in between, longer gaps in between.And have you stopped having them now?Yes.How long ago was that?Probably two years. Two or three years.So how long were they irregular for?I think two or three. I think I started round about when I was 47. I think thats when it started and it was probably like three years between then and 50 that it took me to realise that I was going through the menopause. And so there was more irregularity then but then the gaps got longer but it was regular, probably be like every six weeks as opposed to four weeks and then just now and again after that.
Also Check: Menopause And Dizzy Spells