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


Alternate Names : Premenopause

Perimenopause | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?

The symptoms vary from woman to woman. Only 30% of women see a healthcare provider about symptoms of perimenopause. The other 70% either don't have severe symptoms, or they get used to them.

Some women may have:

  • chills
  • fatigue
  • frequent urination
  • gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • headache
  • heart palpitations, or feeling a pounding heartbeat
  • hot flashes
  • increased emotions or premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • insomnia, or difficulty sleeping
  • muscle pains
  • urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control
  • vaginal dryness
  • vertigo, or the sensation that the room is spinning
  • About 90% of women have changes in menstruation. The amount of bleeding may increase or decrease. Periods may become longer or shorter and happen more or less often. Some women have severe symptoms. Others have mild or no symptoms. Fertility decreases, but women can still get pregnant. A woman who does not wish to get pregnant needs to use birth control.

    About 60% of women have hot flashes. A hot flash usually comes on suddenly. It feels like heat in the upper body or even the whole body. The woman's upper body or face often turns red or gets red blotches. She may sweat and then shiver as her body returns to a normal temperature. Hot flashes can happen at any time, day or night. The hot flash may last only seconds, or it may last up to half an hour. Hot flashes are a result of decreasing estrogen levels. As estrogen levels decline, the body releases other hormones. These can cause the fluctuations in body temperature.

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    Perimenopause: Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors


    Perimenopause: Diagnosis & Tests

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

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