Question

Menopause

What is the difference between premenopause and perimenopause?

A Answers (3)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Premenopause is just what it sounds like, the time in a woman's reproductive life before she goes into menopause. It takes an average of four years for the levels of estrogen produced by the ovaries to get low enough for periods to stop completely. Twelve months after the last period, a women is considered postmenopausal.
  • ABrandon Riggan, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered on behalf of TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center
    Premenopause as a term should refer to a woman before menopause has occurred, meaning a woman still having menstrual cycles whether they are regular or irregular. Perimenopause should refer to a woman who has begun to have menstrual irregularities due to changes in hormones, eventually leading to menopause. Technically speaking, all perimenopausal women are premenopausal but not all premenopausal women are perimenopausal.
  • Premenopause is before menopause and perimenopause is around menopause. In general, premenopause is before any menopausal symptoms begin: a normally menstruating female. Perimenopause describes a time in the female’s life that some of the symptoms of menopause present while there still may be menses occurring. During this time women may experience hot flushes, fatigue, irritability and change in libido. At least 50% of women have no symptoms prior to menopause. Most of the women who do have symptoms, those symptoms will disappear during the five years after menses cease.
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