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    7 signs of perimenopause everyone needs to know about

    Updated 17 November 2023 |
    Published 07 March 2024
    Fact Checked
    Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar
    Reviewed by Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Inova Health System, Washington, DC, US
    Written by Christina Quaine
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    Perimenopause (the transition to menopause) doesn’t just happen overnight. Here are the signs to expect during this time.

    Maybe you’ve noticed that your periods have become more unpredictable. Or perhaps you feel like you’ve suddenly stepped into the least-relaxing sauna ever (hello, hot flashes!). 

    These are just two potential signs of perimenopause. Perimenopause simply means the years leading up to menopause. You’re diagnosed as having gone through menopause when you haven’t had a period for 12 months

    During perimenopause, the amount of estrogen your ovaries produce begins to fluctuate. This can cause symptoms you might not have experienced before. But everyone’s unique, and not all people experience perimenopausal symptoms. That being said, here are a few common ones to look out for. 

    Key takeaways

    Think you might be perimenopausal?

    Tracking your symptoms can help you and your doctor work out what's going on

    What is perimenopause?

    We now know that perimenopause is the years of transition into menopause, but what’s actually happening to your body during this time? Basically, your hormone production begins to change. In particular, the levels of estrogen produced by your ovaries start to fluctuate, meaning that they could go up and down. 

    It’s this erratic estrogen production that can cause those telltale perimenopause symptoms, such as changes to your cycle, mood swings, and brain fog. When your estrogen levels are low, you could experience hot flashes and night sweats. When they are high, you may experience breast tenderness and an irregular menstrual flow. Want more expert info? Check out our detailed guide to perimenopause.

    Know that you don’t need to cope with these symptoms alone. There’s support and treatment available from your doctor.

    What is the average age for perimenopause to start?

    Perimenopause begins somewhere between your late 30s and 50s</