Perimenopause is defined as the
TRANSITIONAL period from normal menstrual
periods to no periods at all. The transition can, and usually does, take up to
ten years. During the perimenopause transition you may experience a combination
of PMS and menopausal symptoms or no symptoms at all.
According to Stedman's Medical Dictionary, menopause is defined as the
permanent cessation of the menses. This condition may be diagnosed in retrospect
when 1 year has passed since the last menses. Well that’s pretty cut and dry
and its nice to know it was menopause you were going through LAST YEAR!
But what can you do now? We know the average age of menopause is
between 40-51, but
menopause starting at the age of 40 is considered normal. So what if you're
having irritability, mood swings and irregular periods now and you're not 51?
Can it be PMS? Is it premature menopause? Or is it the perimenopause ? Can you
still get pregnant? What are your treatment options? Do you need hormones or
Prozac or just vitamin E? These are difficult questions and although there is a
blood test for menopause (FSH), the test can only tell you if you are firmly IN
menopause. However, by the time the test is positive it's quite obvious that you
are into menopause.
See The Menopause Experience
on the other hand
can occur at any age but is more common in your 30's
and 40's. The diagnosis and treatment of PMS has been hampered by the fact that
there has not been a reliable definition for the condition. The American
Psychiatric Association created a condition called the Premenstrual Dysphoric
Disorder (PDD) which should not be confused with their earlier creation, the
Late Luteal Phase Disorder (LLPD). Physicians have always viewed women as more
vulnerable to mental disorders than men and have attributed it to the
instability of their reproductive systems. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD)
consists of a well defined set of symptoms but out of the estimated 30-60% of
women who experience PMS symptoms only 3-5% of women meet the standards for PDD.
But what if you don't meet the criteria? Doctors don't like to hear these
questions because there is no good, simple and reliable test. There are ways to
figure it out, but many physicians and patients just don't want to take the time
and effort. However, it is important to figure it out because the
different. So where do you start?
To Do A Breast Exam
You start with your past. The age your mother or older sisters began
menopause can have a bearing on when you will begin menopause. If your mother
went through menopause in her late 40's and you're 34 it is most likely PMS. If
your mother suffered from PMS then you are more likely to suffer as well.
However, your mother might not remember when she went through menopause and your
older sister may not admit to it. The only other reliable factor is if you
smoke. If you smoke, you can count on menopause starting 1-2 years earlier than
if you don't. Pregnancies, birth control pills, your age when you first began
menses or breast-feeding have no impact on the age of menopause. If you are on
oral contraceptives or other hormones such as Depo-Provera or estrogen, these
can have an effect on mood, irritability, hot flashes, depression and your
periods. Women who can't tolerate birth control pills are more likely to develop
PMS and have a difficult perimenopause. Adjusting the dose, brand or time you
take these medications can sometimes relieve unwanted side effects.
Some of the symptoms of depression are found in both PMS and perimenopause.
Depression is not caused by menopause, but it can run in families. If feelings
of depression, loss of appetite, insomnia, and general loss of interest or
pleasure in life are at the top of your list you may be suffering from clinical
depression. These feelings should be brought to the attention of your health
care provider. Depression and PMS can occur together and it's not uncommon for
anxiety or depressive disorders to worsen during the week before your period and
at menopause. Sound confusing? Well, it can be. All of the above statements are
generalizations but you have to remember that you are a unique individual.
See Women's Health Issues
After reviewing your family history for age of menopause and occurrence of
PMS and depression, you should complete a symptom diary or calendar. This will
be a unique record of your feelings on a daily basis. For three months keep
track of your menses along with a daily record of your symptoms. Ideally, you
should review your calendar with a health care provider but first there may be a
lot you can learn on your own. There are two things you should look for. First
look for patterns. In PMS you will generally see an increase in emotional
symptoms beginning at mid cycle (around day 14). In the week before your period
emotional symptoms will increase and physical symptoms may begin. In the last
few days emotional symptoms will peak and then rapidly disappear after your
menses start. There are variations of this pattern, but the key is symptoms that
increase BEFORE and are relieved AFTER your period. Now that you have your
symptoms calendar before you, look for depression that lasts most of the month.
This could be a clue that you are depressed and need professional evaluation.
If your menses are occurring sooner than 21 days it may be perimenopause or a
more serious gynecological condition and you need to be evaluated by your health
care provider. Menses occurring later than 45 days is more consistent with
menopause or perimenopause. If physical symptoms predominate, especially hot
flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweats, and if they last throughout the month
unrelated to menses think more about menopause. Remember menopause before the
age of 40 is called premature menopause and is rare. However perimenopause can
begin before age 40. Surgical removal of the ovaries is the most common cause of
premature menopause. Hopefully you know if your ovaries have been removed, but
you may not. Years ago doctors routinely removed ovaries in women undergoing a
hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). Now many gynecologists do not remove the
Until you are firmly in menopause, that is, no periods for one year, you can
still get pregnant. If you don't smoke, low dose oral contraceptives can be used
right up to menopause. Hopefully your calendar will help you become more
familiar with your symptoms. From here you can design a PMS / perimenopause - menopause treatment plan.
excellent natural remedy that can help most women with perimenopause &
menopausal symptoms is Imperial Gold Maca™
One of the most effective
herbal products available today, Imperial Gold Maca™ has been making a
strong presence in the United States and many foreign countries. Sold usually in health
food stores or by women who have used the product and now distribute it,
Imperial Gold Maca™ seems to be coming the natural choice of most women.
With a reputation of no known side effects, which is highly desirable, Imperial
Gold Maca™ has been known to also increase energy, stamina, alertness and
fertility enhancement. User's who have tried drug products rave of the
natural benefits. Gaining popularity slowly, it seems to be a word of mouth campaign
conducted by the 1000's of women who are currently advocates of this herb that
seems to promote estrogen and progesterone naturally and stops hot flashes
quickly. The best source of progesterone and estrogen is your own body. For the most
part, nothing could be more natural, and
carry no risk of known side effects.
Nutra Femin For
Eases Menopause Symptoms