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Surprising Signs of Perimenopause

  • Category: Women's Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Dr. Candee Moore, OBGYN
Surprising Signs of Perimenopause

Since the day your period started, you’ve probably been wondering when it will end. While the average age of menopause is 51, it can happen anywhere between age 40 and age 58. For some of us, perimenopause starts even earlier, sometimes in our late thirties. Perimenopause is a transitional phase that leads up to the end of your reproductive years. It can include some of the traditional menopause symptoms like hot flashes and irregular periods. But, those aren’t the only changes to look out for. As your body produces less estrogen, you may notice other changes you didn’t expect. Some of the lesser known symptoms of perimenopause include:

  • Sleep problems – Estrogen and progesterone play a role in the way we sleep. As those hormone levels decrease, some women experience insomnia, sleep apnea or hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Higher cholesterol – Declining estrogen levels can increase bad cholesterol in women, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack.
  • Hair loss – Hormones affect your hair at any age, and the shifts leading up to menopause are no exception. Some women experience hair thinning as they approach menopause.
  • Joint pain – Estrogen reduces inflammation and as levels in your body decline, you may notice pain in your knees, elbows, shoulders and hands.
  • Depression and anxiety – Women in perimenopause are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety than younger women.
  • Dry eyes – Hormone changes can make your eyes produce less fluid, resulting in drier and sometimes itchier eyes.

It’s important to continue to visit your OB/GYN each year, even when you may not need a pap smear or birth control refill. Many perimenopause symptoms can be alleviated with regular exercise, diet changes or medication. Talk to your doctor about any changes you experience to find out more about your options.

Candace Moore, MD
Baton Rouge General Physicians Obstetrics & Gynecology 
(225) 237-1880