Perimenopause is the stage just before regular menopause sets in. Menopause is when a woman is no longer fertile and she no longer ovulates nor has a menstrual cycle. During perimenopause, a woman has menopause symptoms, but is still fertile.
A woman who is having menopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings and irregular periods, but is still menstruating is in perimenopause. Once a perimenopausal woman has been without her period for at least one year, she will officially be in menopause.
Perimenopause can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Each woman is different and each will have perimenopause for different length of time.
Until a perimenopausal woman is without her period for one year, she is still fertile and it is still possible for her to get pregnant.
If a perimenopausal woman does not want to get pregnant, it is important to continue using birth control or other contraceptives. Since her periods may be irregular, it may be hard for her to know when to expect ovulation.
If a perimenopausal woman wants to get pregnant, she can hire an infertility specialist to assist with conception if her irregular cycle is making it hard for her to get pregnant naturally.