It can be quite hard for many women to tell when their perimenopause stage is coming to an end. That is because the signs which indicate the end of perimenopause (and the beginning of the actual menopause) can be a bit confusing. Thus questions on how to know when perimenopause is ending tend to come up quite often in the menopause clinic London. In this article, we shall be looking at 5 reliable ways in which a woman can know that she is exiting the perimenopause stage.
Perimenopause is the transitional stage between a woman’s reproductive years and her actual menopause. One doesn’t just switch in an instant, from being a woman who is in the reproductive prime to be a menopausal woman. There is a transitional period in between. And that is what we refer to as ‘perimenopause’.
During a woman’s reproductive years, there are constant estrogen fluctuations. The nature of these fluctuations changes in perimenopause. And that leads to various signs, most of which are quite distressing. Indeed, some of the signs are so bad that we often have women booking private doctor appointments on account of them. We shall be looking at those signs soon.
Women’s bodies are different. Consequently, there are differences in when stages like perimenopause start. For some women, this stage may start in the 30s. But for some other women, it may only begin in their 40s.
There are various factors that make different women start perimenopause at varying ages. Some of the factors are biological. Others are environmental or behavioral. For instance, there is evidence to show that women who engage in habits like smoking may get into perimenopause earlier.
There is also some variation in how long women stay in the perimenopause stage. On average, the duration is 4 years. But for some women, it can stretch to as much as 10 years.
Ultimately though, it does get to a point where a woman goes for 12 months without having a period. That is when we can say that she has officially left the perimenopause stage, and entered the actual menopause.
As noted earlier, the focus of this article is on ways to tell when perimenopause is ending. But before we get to that, we first need to have insight into the actual signs of perimenopause. (Then later, we can look at signs of it ending).
Now the signs that a woman is going through perimenopause include:
A woman who is going through perimenopause may see some changes in when her periods start. There may also be changes in how long the periods go on. Indeed, if a woman has been seeing a marked change in her period’s duration for several cycles, this may be a sign of perimenopause.
The hot flashes in question here are a key sign of both perimenopause and actual menopause. The woman will usually suddenly feel hot and in a very intense way. But it is worth mentioning that hot flashes are not universal. As many as 20% of women never get them.
It is on account of the hormonal changes that come with perimenopause that women have these mood swings. At least 3 in 4 women who are going through perimenopause are bound to experience mood swings.
These go hand in hand with the hot flashes mentioned earlier. They can be so bad that they cause a woman’s clothing and bed to be drenched. And they often interfere with sleep. Sometimes, a woman may start suspecting that they are due to an infection. We often see women visiting private doctor clinics on account of this concern.
These headaches are also due to the hormonal fluctuations that characterize perimenopause. They can be quite intense and debilitating.
The interplay of the signs of perimenopause described above is what ultimately causes mental and physical exhaustion. So this is on account of things like experiencing night sweats, being unable to sleep well, and so on. All this wears a woman out, leading to exhaustion.
At some point, perimenopause is bound to end, giving way to actual menopause. The reliable signs that perimenopause is coming to an end include:
If you find that the duration between your periods is 60 or more days, it may be a reliable sign of the end of perimenopause. The periods start being further and further apart before they stop altogether.
Earlier, we said that one of the signs of perimenopause is frequent headaches. Now if the frequency of the headaches goes down, it is a sign that perimenopause is ending. And this is due to the fluctuating hormones now settling down.
We said that 4 out of every 5 women experience mood swings while in perimenopause. These mood swings are due to hormonal fluctuations. Now as you exit perimenopause, those hormonal fluctuations come to an end. And this in turn leads to better mood stability.
When you are in perimenopause, you experience some hot flashes. And as you exit perimenopause and enter into the actual menopause, those hot flashes tend to increase. So the hot flashes don’t decrease as you exit perimenopause. They tend to increase instead.
Earlier, we said that women who are going through perimenopause are often unable to sleep well. As they exit perimenopause and enter the actual menopause, this sign may seem to worsen a bit. So you find that the end result is somewhat less sleep.
The end of perimenopause gives way to the actual menopause. So, how does a woman know that she is fully in menopause? The answer is simple – by checking her periods – or lack thereof. If you go for 12 months without a period, you can say that you entered fully into menopause. It doesn’t matter what other symptoms you are having (or not having).
Are you in need of menopause clinic London services? If yes, our Private GP London offers all the required menopause-related services.