A woman goes through many stages in her life…from menstruation to menopause.
There’s another transitional period in your life, one that comes when
your hormone levels begin to decrease. It’s called perimenopause or pre-menopause.
That’s when you’ll begin to experience the changes and symptoms
associated with approaching menopause. If you’re like most women, perimenopause
usually begins in your mid to late 40's; it may last from two to 10 years or
longer. Menopause occurs at an average age of 51.
You may experience many physical and emotional changes during perimenopause
and menopause. There are short-term symptoms and long-term health risks that
can be managed by lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care provider (doctor,
nurse, nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, physician assistant, pharmacist)
about any dietary or nutritional supplements, or herbal products you may consider
taking—especially if you’re taking other medications.
Your health care provider may also discuss hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
after reviewing your medical history and symptoms. Because every woman is unique,
how you cope with the symptoms of menopause may be different. That means the
experience may not be like your sister’s, your mother’s or your
friends. But if you’re well informed about this life transition, you can
make the decisions that are right for you.