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Menopause begins naturally when a woman start making less estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. This gradual hormonal change gets underway as early as a women’s late 30s but typically takes place between 45 to 55 years of age. This transitional period is called perimenopause and can last from 2 to 10 years starting with the first year after your final period. The symptoms of perimenopause are the result of changing hormone levels that women begin noticing before menopause takes place.

Here are some telltale signs of perimenopause

Menstrual irregularity and regular menstrual cycles are characteristics of perimenopause. When hormones fluctuate an ovulation becomes more erratic you may experience much heavier or lighter menstrual flow.

Problems with sleep, women who have slept soundly their entire lives may find that fluctuating hormone levels recover, their sleep cycles. Difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep are often caused by hot flashes or night sweats.

Changes in mood, some women can experience mood swings irritability or depression during pre-menopause. Vaginal changes in bladder problems estrogen plays a key role in maintaining the function of a woman’s vagina surrounding tissues, urinary bladder and urethra. As these tissues weaken they can lead to involuntary leakage of urine infection or painful urination.

Low libido - You may find your sexual desire and arousal change during Perimenopause. Hormone imbalance is the most common cause of low sex drive during this phase of life.

Decreasing fertility - as hormones fluctuate an ovulation becomes irregular your ability to conceive decreases.

Bone loss - as estrogen levels decline you naturally begin to lose more quickly than you replace it, just increasing your risk of osteoporosis.

Change in cholesterol levels - declining estrogen levels may also negatively affect your blood cholesterol levels this includes the LDL and HDL for low batter good cholesterol.

For some women this transitional period can last for years whereas others transition to menopause within just a few months. What seems to be matter most in the severity of symptoms is the other burdens women may have placed on their bodies already over the years with this said healthy lifestyle modifications will make a significant difference in lessening the uncomfortable symptoms associated with pre-menopause.

Exercise, nutrition, reduce or eliminate stimulants, and reduce stress.

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