Perimenopause, also known as menopause transition, is when menopause-related symptoms occur many years before and after menopause. In the perimenopause stage, the ovaries begin to shut down and stops producing certain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, decreasing the chance of becoming pregnant. Normally, women between the ages of 45 and 55 experience perimenopause, some even starts in their 30s.
Women take oral contraceptives to relieve perimenopausal symptoms. When a woman reaches menopause, it is recommended for her to transition from birth control pills to hormone therapy because hormone therapy has lower doses of hormones reducing the risk for negative side effects.
What are the symptoms of perimenopause?
Women may experience different menopause symptoms; you may notice symptoms that are not listed below:
- Period pattern changes (shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, more or less time between periods)
- Period stopping
- Hot flashes (sudden rush of heat in upper body)
- Night sweats (hot flashes that happen while you sleep), often followed by a chill
- Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood changes, feeling crabby (probably because of lack of sleep)
- Trouble focusing, feeling mixed-up or confused
- Hair loss or thinning on your head, more hair growth on your face
To help ease the symptoms you may be experiencing, try the following:
- Eat Healthy. A healthy diet is more important now than before because your risks of osteoporosis (extreme bone loss) and heart disease go up at this stage of life. Eat lots of whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruits. Add calcium-rich foods (milk, cheese, yogurt) or take a calcium supplement to obtain your recommended daily intake. Get adequate vitamin D from sunshine or a supplement. Avoid alcohol or caffeine, which also can trigger hot flashes in some women.
- Get Moving. Regular exercise helps keep your weight down, helps you sleep better, makes your bones stronger, and boosts your mood. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, but let your doctor recommend what is best for you.
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Try meditation or yoga–both can help you relax, as well as handle your symptoms more easily. Our “Stress and Your Health” FAQ can be a good resource as well.
Should I stop taking oral contraceptives at Perimenopause?
Women experiencing perimenopause can continue taking low dose (20ug ethinyl estradiol) oral contraceptives to help relieve their perimenopause symptoms. At 50 or 51, the average age of menopause, low dose oral contraceptives can be stopped or changed to hormone replacements. When stopping oral contraceptives during perimenopause a serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level test should be done on the last day of the pill. An FSH level above 40 signifies that you are in a menopausal state. If you stop taking oral contraceptives and your FSH level is below 40, you can get pregnant, unless you have not had your period 12 months in a row.
Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control(prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line.
For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.
Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control(prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line. For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.