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Five Common Symptoms of Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the time of a woman’s life, usually in her 40s to early 50s, when her hormones are adapting as she transitions to menopause (the cessation of periods). During this stage, many women experience a myriad of bothersome symptoms with around 90% of women seeking out their healthcare provider at some point on how best to cope.

There are many symptoms, such as irregular periods, hot flushes, sleep problems, depression and anxiety, that are commonly associated but some symptoms cause more concern than others. Within my clinic, weight gain and tiredness are probably the most common reasons why women in their 40s book an appointment with me.

So let’s take a deeper look at some of the common symptoms associated with perimenopause so that you can be prepared and know what might be contributing.

Hot Flushes

75% women will experience hot flushes, sometimes called hot flashes or vasomotor symptoms. It’s a feeling of intense heat lasting around 4 minutes but could be much shorter or longer. You might experience this once a week or several times per hour.

So what’s going on, why does this happen?

In truth, it’s still relatively unknown but it’s possible that it’s due to a ’touchy thermostat’. In our brain, the hypothalamus regulates our reaction to temperature changes. During perimenopause, it’s thought that the hypothalamus becomes more sensitive, narrowing the range of temperature that it considers normal. Previously, your hypothalamus accepted and coped well with small temperature changes like drinking hot tea, stepping indoors but in perimenopause, the tiniest shift in temperature results in th