By Bridgit Danner, FDNP, LAc
Menopause is, in our cultural vocabulary, described as the symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. But menopause is actually the cessation of your menstrual cycle. You know it’s ceased when it you haven’t had a cycle for a year. Perimenopause is a period that extends for a long time before menopause.
Perimenopause starts at age 35, or starts 10 years before menopause, depending on who you ask. It is the slow decline (sorry to use that word) of your ovaries as a player in your endocrine system. Accompanying that is a slow decline of fertility, that really speeds up in your 40s.
Now that many women are delaying childbirth, many women are being hit with the double whammy of trying to conceive while dealing with perimenopause. Still others are experiencing troubling perimenopause symptoms while raising young children.
But what is going on in perimenopause anyway?