Perimenopause – When Does it Start?

Perimenopause encompasses the years leading up to menopause, which officially starts when a woman’s period has completely stopped for one year. Perimenopause, can range from two to ten years, depending on the woman. While it is a perfectly natural phase of a woman’s life, it isn’t always easy to bear. Many women suffer tremendously during the perimenopausal years, while others experience no symptoms at all. If at all possible ask your mother about her menopause and if you have other women relatives you can ask them as well.

Most women begin perimenopause in their forties, but it can start as early as the mid-thirties. Perimenopause is the span of time when you notice that your periods are changing to one year after they completely stop. That’s when menopause begins. I noticed these changes when I was in my mid-thirties. My periods became stronger and longer, then shorter and irregular. They were all over the place towards the end with as much as 5 months in between. There was lots of clotting which I had never had before and the PMS was off the charts. Ovulation may become more erratic as well. You may be vulnerable to anemia if your periods are super heavy.

Between 75 and 85 percent of women experience hot flashes during perimenopause. The intensity, frequency, and duration may vary. Often hot flashes are to blame for the sleep disturbances or fatigue that can be linked to perimenopause. If you are anything like me, I require 7 to 8 hours per night or I don’t function the next day. It’s called the menopause fog brain! They are many things you can do to reduce the hot flashes or the night sweats. I personally never experienced night sweats only the hot flashes.
Fluctuating hormones can cause mood swings, depression, irritability, difficulty handling stress or anxiety. This was one of my most symptoms. It was the uncontrollable mood swings to the point of not liking myself. Again, these can vary from women to women. If you would like to talk more about how to survive the menopausal years contact me at

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