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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Perimenopause
      Category : Health Centers > Menopause


Alternate Names : Premenopause

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Perimenopause refers to the time before menopause, that is, before a woman stops menstruating completely.

What is going on in the body?

Estrogen levels decrease during perimenopause. The levels gradually decline until a woman stops menstruating. Until then, a woman is in perimenopause. Perimenopause is also called premenopause. Egg production by the ovaries is falling, and estrogen is also diminishing. The production of progesterone also lessens, especially if a woman is no longer ovulating. These hormonal fluctuations vary from woman to woman. Both the amount of hormone produced and the timing of the decline can vary.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

As women get closer to menopause, the risks of osteoporosis, or bone thinning, and heart disease increase. Lower estrogen levels may be part of the reason that these risks increase.


Next section


Perimenopause: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Terry Mason, MPH
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 08/01/01

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