Peri-Menopause is a word that is thrown around by women, by men, by doctors. What does it really mean? I like to explain it as puberty in reverse. You may develop acne that is unbearable. I have more patients in their 40’s on Accutane than I have young teenage girls.
What do we talk about during puberty? Young girls slam doors, they get aggravated, they are crying one minute, then they are happy the next. That is what peri-menopausal women go through. This is also when the hot flashes and night flushes may start. All of these things are so normal. The estrogen levels that are variable during this time are the cause of all these changes. Your ovaries just don’t stop working one day. They “sputter” and go from here down to here and eventually over 10 to 20 years, the ovaries will completely fail.
The average age of menopause, or the cessation of periods for 12 complete months is age 51. But, this is a bell-shaped curve. Some people stop their menstrual cycles at age 40 and some at age 60. So, it is normal to go through these changes anywhere during this 20 year period.