Premenopause is the time frame leading up to menopause, at which point a woman stops producing eggs and her period ends. This phase can last up to 10 years prior to menopause, but the average length of premenopause is four years. Once a woman has had 12 consecutive months without a period, perimenopause ends and menopause begins. The signs and symptoms of premenopause are very similar to the signs and symptoms of menopause.
The signs and symptoms of premenopause include headaches, night sweats, hot flashes, heart palpitations, fatigue, vaginal dryness, urinary problems, bone loss, insomnia, weight gain, irregular periods, changes in cholesterol levels, irritability, anxiety and depression.
During premenopause, your body produces less progesterone and estrogen. These lower hormone levels are responsible for the signs and symptoms that many women feel during premenopause and menopause.
The signs and symptoms of premenopause often appear around the age of forty but can begin as early as your thirties. The onset of symptoms depends on a number of things, including your genetic history.
Oral contraceptive, therapy using progestin, and endometrial ablation can help alleviate the symptoms of premenopause.
Exercise, practicing stress reduction and eating well-balanced, low-fat, high-fiber meals can help to calm some of the symptoms of premenopause. In particular, alcohol and caffeine can accentuate hot flashes.