HOW YOUR SYMPTOMS CAN CHANGE THROUGH PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE
There is no accurate hormone test to confirm where you are in your menopause journey.
Use our guide to estimate where you might be:
Your menstrual cycle is likely to still be regular but ovulation becomes more sporadic.
Progesterone can begin to drop first as it is only produced when you ovulate. This can result in relatively high oestrogen levels in comparison to progesterone levels.
Typical symptoms include bloating, increased breast tenderness, increased breast size and difficulty losing weight from hips, thighs and bum. Heavier bleeding, increased premenstrual anxiety, physical tension, irritability, anger or tearfulness can also occur.
Your menstrual cycle can become more irregular and less predictable (it can be longer or shorter by up to 7 days).
This is a time when progesterone remains low and oestrogen levels begin to fluctuate between relatively high and low.
Typical symptoms include weight gain (particularly around the waist) which can be harder to lose. Changes in body temperature and feeling hot or hot flushes may begin which can contribute to sleep problems. Brain fog, mood swings, increased anxiety, mental and physical tension, a sense of overwhelm and angry outbursts are also common.
Your menstrual cycle is now likely to be longer (over 60 days) and you may be skipping periods.
Both progesterone and oestrogen levels are persistently low and your testosterone levels are likely to be continuing to creep downwards.
Typical symptoms will now increasingly be those associated with low oestrogen such as irritable bladder (needing to go to the loo often), vaginal dryness or discomfort , drier thinner hair, joint problems and hot flushes. You may gain more weight and there can be a loss of confidence, drive and libido.
You will not have had a period for over 12 months.
Oestrogen and progesterone levels have stabilised to a lower level and you have graduated into the post menopause phase.
Symptoms can still occur especially if stress and poor metabolic health are a significant part of your life. Typically these can include hot flushes, genitourinary issues and ageing skin and hair.
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