During the months and years before menopause your body goes through many changes. This time period is called perimenopause. Perimenopause can begin anywhere from age
35 to 55.
SIGNS OF PERIMENOPAUSE
The first sign may be a change in your periods. They may become more frequent or further apart. As you approach menopause your estrogen levels become lower, you may
experience hot flashes or night sweats. Mood swings are common at this time too. Vaginal dryness may occur and intercourse may be painful due to lack of lubrication.
If you notice changes in your periods you should notify your health care provider for an examination.
REGULATING YOUR PERIODS
Your physician may recommend hormone pills to help regulate your periods. This could be in the form of low dose oral contraceptive pills. The benefits of progesterone
Keeping the uterine lining from building up which could lead to excessive bleeding or the need for an endometrial biopsy to measure the thickness of the endometrial
lining of your uterus.
A build up of the endometrial lining can cause endometrial cancer in your uterine lining.
During perimenopause, estrogen levels begin to drop, but this happens gradually. There is still enough estrogen present to thicken the lining every month.
But progesterone levels drop very low and lack of progesterone can cause some women not to have a period. When periods do come they may be lighter or heavier than is
normal for you. Having estrogen in the uterus without enough progesterone sometimes causes changes in the cells of the uterine lining. These changes may lead to cancer.
Your physician will discuss the different types of hormones available. Your job is to keep records of how often you bleed and if the flow is mild, moderate or heavy.
CARING FOR YOUR BODY
It is essential that you take good care of your body during this time. You should get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and have regular pap tests and
mammograms. Make sure you take a multivitamin as well as a calcium supplement to prevent bone loss.
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