Friday, April 25, 2008

Perimenopause Symptoms ? The Transition

Until you reached this stage in your life, there?s a high probability that you?d never even heard of perimenopause. As a matter of fact, you were probably a bit surprised that perimenopause (the transitional period before menopause) could begin so early in life, and last for ten years ? sometimes even longer.

Symptoms of perimenopause are described almost exactly as those associated with menopause, and may include:

? Weight gain (especially around the mid-section)
? Mood changes
? Night sweats
? Hot flashes
? Vaginal dryness
? Changes in sexual desire (lowered libido)
? Sleep disturbances
? Frequent urination
? Extreme sweating
? Difficulty concentrating
? Other symptoms similar to those you may experience with premenstrual syndrome

If you?re experiencing any of these symptoms, it?s a good idea to talk with your health care provider to rule out any other medical conditions. Once you?re sure that perimenopause is indeed the culprit behind the symptoms you?re now noticing, it?s time to ?step it up? and take the steps necessary to reduce ? and in many cases eliminate ? the discomforts that can be associated with perimenopause.

Your physician will likely encourage you to make some lifestyle changes that have been proven to effectively benefit many women during perimenopause. These include:

? Altering your diet to include soy and flax

? Exercising regularly, incorporating weight training into your routine at least three days per week

? Taking supplements of vitamin E

? Avoiding triggers that can cause hot flashes, such as caffeine; also, it?s suggested that you avoid being in extremely warm temperatures or rooms

? Herbal treatments, such as ginkgo biloba, black cohash or Evening Primrose Oil

Depending on your age, health and medical history and the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may also use various other treatments to remedy your perimenopausal symptoms, such as:

? A low dose of birth control to stabilize your hormone levels

? Antidepressants to level out your mood swings

? Progesterone to alleviate symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome

This transitional period can be a bit frightening for many women, but it?s important to remind yourself that you can indeed breeze through perimenopause and menopause if you simply take care of yourself. You can be as healthy, energetic, happy and beautiful as you?ve always been. As an added bonus, your age has brought you to a maturity level you didn?t have twenty years ago, giving you confidence to be certain that you can be and do everything you set your mind to. You will no doubt enjoy and savor your life if you remain positive and determined.

Susan Megge is the founder of, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. Susan, a health and fitness expert started experiencing symptoms of perimenopause and menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery that menopause can be a very manageable, and even wonderful time in a woman's life. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40," a book dedicated to helping women to be inspired, confident and beautiful as they approach menopause.

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