How does perimenopause affect my body?

The hormonal changes of perimenopause affect your body in several ways, mostly caused by the fact that at a certain age, the ovaries stop generating two hormones called estrogen and progesterone. As the level of these hormones in your body fluctuate unpredictably in perimenopause, you experience physical and emotional side effects. Most noticeably, your periods become irregular; when they have stopped completely for one year, you are in menopause. You may also have sleep problems, experience hot flashes, or become irritable or nervous.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
During perimenopause a woman's body goes through many physical changes. These changes may be subtle at first because the amount of estrogen the body is making is erratic and can fluctuate widely from day to day and hour to hour. It’s different for everyone. You may skip a period or two, or your menstrual flow might get heavier or lighter. Some women stop menstruating suddenly. You may feel a few hot flashes or night sweats, and you may notice your vagina feels dryer or more irritated. Behind the scenes your bones may be losing density, which is a risk factor for osteoporosis. It is important to note that if you are perimenopausal you may still be producing eggs, which means you could become pregnant.

Once perimenopause has begun, you may experience a change in your menstrual cycle, such as a difference in how far apart they are or lighter or heavier flow, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, urinary tract problems, headaches, night sweats, insomnia, tiredness, and/or weight gain. Many women also experience a lack of energy. These are related to the changing levels of hormones in your body, which have effects on the blood vessels and circulatory system, and reproductive tissues.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.