What is the perimenopause?

It’s not always known that the menopause, the point in a woman’s life where she stops ovulating and no longer has a period, is preceded by the perimenopause. This is a period of transition where the ovaries gradually start producing less oestrogen, and lasts for a year after a woman has her last period.

Symptoms of perimenopause can be irregular periods, hot flushes, reduced libido, and mood swings. The articles on this page are designed to help you understand what’s happening to your body at this time, and what you can do to manage your changing health needs.

The perimenopause literally means ‘around the menopause’ and is a time of physical and emotional upheaval for many women. Common symptoms include irregular or absent periods, hot flushes, night sweats, tiredness and sleep disturbances. Diet and lifestyle changes can help.

Dr Sarah Brewer

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Early menopause, perimenopause, pre-menopause: here's what to expect

When does perimenopause start, how long does it last and what are the symptoms? We show you what to expect, and what you can do to make things easier.

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