Going Through the Change
Like most women today, you have probably heard the term “menopause”. You may know a little about it or a lot. At the very least, you know that it will happen to you — typically in your 40’s or 50’s. And, like most women, you’ll deal with it when you have to. You may already be dealing with it, whether successfully or not.
What you may not know about or even have heard of is perimenopause. “Peri” means the years surrounding menopause, that is, the years between the time you have your first symptoms of menopause and the time when you reach full menopause. Full menopause is when your period has stopped for a year. The complete end of periods signals the end of the menopausal process. The key word is process. We now understand that as a young girl our body goes through a process of physical maturing. Much of this process is driven by hormone production — the same is true in reverse. When women’s ovaries are gearing down and hormone levels are decreasing, it doesn’t happen overnight — it too is a gradual process.
It helps to know the physical changes that are taking place in our
bodies, the symptoms of these changes, and how we can deal with them. That’s why we wrote this booklet — to give you a better understanding of what happens during the process of menopause and what you can do to relieve its symptoms. Whether you are in perimenopause, menopause, or
not there yet, you’ll learn what to expect and how to prepare for the next phase of your life.. And knowledge can be very reassuring.
Perimenopause is the period of time that begins with your first menopausal symptoms (e.g. hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia) and ends when you reach full menopause, which is when your period has completely stopped.
As with other women’s health issues, it’s better to be well-informed about health conditions that may affect you. Menopause is nothing to be embarassed about. It is as natural as puberty or childbirth.
As we said, menopause is a process. Perimenopause is part of the process. Perimenopause begins with your first menopausal symptoms (for example, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia) and ends when you reach full menopause, which is when your periods have completely stopped. As with other health issues affecting women, it’s better to be well-informed about health conditions that may affect you. Learn all you can about the process of menopause and perimenopause. Be aware of changes in your body so you can work with your health care team. Your health care professionals understand the process of menopause, it’s symptoms, and the risks and benefits of your treatment options.