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The most obvious sign that you are going through ‘the change’ is irregularity in your periods. They may suddenly stop altogether or you may have shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles or longer cycles. It s also worth noting that even when you think your periods have ended, you may get one unexpectedly, a few months later.

Read more at My Menopause Expert

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Perimenopause,or menopause transition, is the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause> this is when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less oestrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in a woman’s 30s or even earlier.

Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, this decline in oestrogen accelerates. It is at this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.

The average length of perimenopause is four years, but for some women this stage may last only a few months or continue for 10 years. Perimenopause ends the first year after menopause (when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period).

You may experience some or all of the following symptoms as you go through perimenopause:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased Libido
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flushes
  • Increase or wrsening of premenstrual syndrome
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Irregular periods
  • Mood Swings
  • Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing
  • Urine urgency (pressing need to urinate more frequently)
  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort.
  • Other symptoms mentioned here or in the book Grumpy Old Menopause.

Read more on this subject by looking at Dr Christiane Northrup’s article The Perimenopause Transition by clicking HERE

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More symptoms, suggestions and strategies including dealing with panic attacks and how pole dancing might help cope with the menopause can be found in Grumpy Old Menopause.

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