Most people have symptoms such as irregular periods (we’ll talk more about that), hot flashes, insomnia, bloating, weight gain, etc. due to changing hormone levels.
When you don’t menstruate for one year, you’re considered to be menopausal. The average age this happens is around 51, so people go through perimenopause most often in their 40’s.
What about Perimenopausal Periods?
During your regular menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone increase and decrease according to a pretty regular pattern. Generally, ovulation occurs in the middle of the cycle, and then menstruation occurs around 14 days later.
However, during perimenopause, hormones are a bit out of whack and don’t follow this regular pattern. Here are some of the results:
- Irregular bleeding
- Long or heavy period one month
- Short and light period the next
- Increasing, or decreasing number of days between periods
- Skipped periods, but they can return months later
- Changing menstrual symptoms (more, or less cramps, PMS, etc.)
- Changes in discharge
The general pattern is that periods will become lighter, with more time in between cycles. Eventually, they’ll just stop and you’ll enter into menopause.
Learn more about the Menopause Stages here.
Perimenopausal Menstrual Cycle: What is Normal, What Isn’t?
Although your periods probably aren’t following a normal cycle during perimenopause, it’s not exactly a free for all. There are some things that could indicate a more serious problem and you should talk with your doctor about them. They include:
- Very heavy bleeding
- Bleeding that is longer than normal
- Bleeding that happens more than every 3 weeks
- Spotting after sex, or between periods
Some of the more serious problems can include Polyps (noncancerous growths), Endometrial Atrophy (Endometrium becomes very thin), or Endometrial Hyperplasia (lining of the uterus becomes thicker).
There are various ways to diagnose and treat these conditions. Your doctor will have the most up to date information about the options available in your area.
Use a Tracking App
Consider using a menstrual cycle tracking app to have a record of your periods. This will be very helpful for your doctor to diagnose your condition. Perimenopausal periods are most often pretty irregular, so using something like this will really help you, and your doctor.
Also Consider a Menstrual Cup
You could also consider using a menstrual cup, which is an easy way to keep track of how much you’re bleeding. Learn more about them here: What is a Menstrual Cup?
What Period Protection Should I Use During Perimenopause?
It can be challenging to choose the best period protection options when you’re spotting, or have a very irregular period.
You may find that tampons and disposable pads just aren’t working that well for you anymore. If this is the case, then you’ll want to check this out: Perimenopausal Period Protection Choices.
My Period is Lighter This Month
Sounds awesome, right? Doesn’t everyone want lighter periods? It’s not as awesome as you might think because there are some possibly serious reasons behind it.
Or, it could be a natural part of perimenopause. The only way you’ll know is to check with your doctor.
More details here:
Is your light period accompanied by brown blood. This can definitely happen in the years leading up to menopause. Find out more here:
Perimenopausal Periods: Have your Say!
Are you in Perimenopause, or have gone through it? What are your periods like?
Leave a comment below and let us know.