Is perimenopause real?

Many women experience changes in their bodies a few years before menopause. These changes can sometimes be disturbing. Some call it perimenopause, and some dismiss this condition as a whole. This article will shed light on perimenopause, its onset, symptoms, and treatment options.

Published on:Aug 23rd 2023 |Updated on:Mar 10th 2024
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What is Perimenopause?

Before menopause, a stage of life called perimenopause occurs when your ovaries gradually produce less of the two main female hormones, Estrogen, and progesterone. The onset of perimenopause can vary from person to person, although it often occurs in your mid-40s. Depending on how quickly your hormone levels change, it might last anywhere from a few months to several years.

How long does perimenopause last?

Eight to ten years before menopause, perimenopause starts. The onset of perimenopause typically occurs at age 45. However, some women may begin to experience menopausal symptoms as early as their mid-30s. Premature menopause occurs when menopause is complete before age 40—a few health issues.

On average, perimenopause lasts about 4 to 8 years. However, some women may experience it for just a few months, while others may go through it for up to 10 years.

You are still fertile during perimenopause, but your chances of becoming pregnant are reduced.

What are the symptoms of Perimenopause?

This change in hormone levels can lead to various symptoms, which can vary in intensity and duration from one woman to another. Here are some common symptoms of perimenopause:

Irregular Periods

This is often one of the first noticeable signs of perimenopause. Periods may become more frequent or less frequent, they might skip months, or the flow may become lighter or heavier.

Hot Flashes

Sudden warmth, especially in the upper body, neck, and face. They can be accompanied by redness (flushing) and sweating.

Night Sweats

Like hot flashes but occurring at night, often disrupting sleep.

Sleep Disturbances

You might have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing early-morning awakenings.

Mood Changes

Irritability, mood swings, and even depression. Some women also report feelings of sadness or worry about aging.

Vaginal Dryness

Reduced Estrogen can lead to dryness, discomfort, and pain during intercourse.

Decreased Libido

Some women experience a drop in sexual desire.

Breast Tenderness

Similar to the tenderness experienced during menstrual cycles.

Urine Leakage & Frequency

Some women may experience urinary incontinence, especially when sneezing, coughing, or laughing. There might also be an increased need to urinate more frequently. This symptom can be controlled by performing Kegels.

Cognitive Changes

Some women report difficulties with memory or concentration.

Joint and Muscle Pain

Aches and joint and muscle pains might become more noticeable.

Hair Thinning or Hair Loss

Some women notice a change in the texture or fullness of their hair.

Increase in Abdominal Fat

You might accumulate more fat in the abdominal area. 

Skin changes

The skin might become drier and lose elasticity, leading to wrinkles.


Some women report heart palpitations or changes in heart rhythms.

Bone Density Loss

Due to decreasing Estrogen levels, bone density might decrease, raising the risk of osteoporosis.

It's important to note that while these are common symptoms associated with perimenopause, not every woman will experience all of them, and some may experience other symptoms not listed above. Additionally, other medical conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional if you're experiencing any of these symptoms to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.


Perimenopause is typically diagnosed based on symptoms. Sometimes, a doctor may check hormone levels, but these can fluctuate widely during perimenopause and may not provide a definitive answer.

Some doctors might dismiss perimenopause as a diagnosis; you need to be assertive, advocate for your health, and get the support you need.


Not every woman needs treatment for perimenopausal symptoms. However, for those who do, various options range from hormone therapy to lifestyle changes or non-hormonal medications.

It's important to remember that perimenopause is a natural transition phase. Follow your doctor’s recommendations, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and breathe; this too shall pass.



OmoomaOmooma | First Online Arabic Motherhood Training Platform

Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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