Although most people are familiar with the time of menopause, most women aren’t aware that there are actually multiple stages within menopause that come before the actual moment. As we’ve discussed before, menopause hits once you have officially stopped menstruating. This is when your ovaries will stop producing estrogen and other hormones which leads to not receiving your period for 12 months consecutively. Although this is a big change, your body will find other ways to produce these needed hormones although it will not be at the levels your body is used to.
Your body’s hormone levels will not decrease immediately but rather it will happen over a period of time. This is where the other stages of menopause come in. Your hormone levels will start to decrease in the first stage of menopause, called perimenopause. The symptoms that come during this time may linger on throughout the entire time of menopause and may get better and or worsen. So if you’re experiencing pre-menopause symptoms it may either be premenopause or perimenopause. We’re going to explain how to know the difference between perimenopause symptoms and premenopause symptoms.
What is premenopause?
Premenopause is the first stage, which comes before perimenopause. Premenopause symptoms may come and go so once you catch them, you can start practicing natural remedies to treat your premenopause symptoms. The symptoms of premenopause are very similar to perimenopause below. The signs of premenopause will not consist of the same things as menopause. During menopause you will experience symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. During premenopause you won’t experience severe symptoms just yet. Typically this phase comes long before menopause hits. During this time you will still have your period, once your period stops then you know that you are soon entering perimenopause and then menopause.
You shouldn’t notice any severe changes in this period just yet, but the closer that you get to entering menopause, you will. Just as there are supplements for perimenopause which we will discuss later, there are also vitamins for premenopause that you can take although you may not need it as symptoms are not severe yet. Although you may experience premenopause headaches as one of the early premenopause symptoms if any.
What is perimenopause?
As mentioned, there are two stages before menopause – premenopause and perimenopause. The main difference between perimenopause and menopause is that this comes before menopause. There is no specific perimenopause age although it typically comes 3-4 years before you will actually enter into menopause. Unfortunately, it can start as early as 10 years before. Typically the perimenopause age averages around a woman in her 40’s but as mentioned can come as soon as her 30’s. This is when your estrogen levels will decrease and you will begin experiencing hormonal changes. Keep in mind, unlike menopause, you can still experience pregnancy during perimenopause. You may begin noticing perimenopause signs immediately and perimenopause symptoms may increase the closer a woman gets to menopause.
The common symptoms of perimenopause that you can focus on to figure out if you are entering into perimenopause are very similar to traditional menopause symptoms. If you are beginning to experience any or all of these symptoms early on, then you may be in the beginning stages of perimenopause.
10 common symptoms of perimenopause:
- Hot flashes
- Low sex drive
- Irregular periods
- Breast pain and or tenderness
- Extreme premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Discomfort during sex
- Weight gain
- Trouble concentrating
- Hair thinning
Most commonly one of the first early perimenopause symptoms is a woman’s premenstrual cycle worsening causing more extreme pain.
When does perimenopause start?
There is no exact age as to when perimenopause will start, but this will also depend on when you first got your period, and the average age your family members experienced menopause. Typically a woman begins menopause in her early 50’s, although this can range later or earlier. Early perimenopause can begin as soon as early 30’s but the typical age for perimenopause to begin is mid 40’s. The best way to predict when you will enter into perimenopause is by finding out when your mother began menopause if she experienced menopause at all.
Before any woman starts perimenopause, you will notice physical changes years prior to your last and final menstrual period. Consider this the “transition phase” entering into menopause. The pain and symptoms that may come may have you considering a perimenopause treatment, we always suggest trying natural remedies first. There are a number of supplements for perimenopause that you can take. We will get to the best perimenopause supplements that you can try. If you’re wondering when does perimenopause start, take a look at the 10 common symptoms of perimenopause to see if any apply to you and you may be entering in your beginning stages. Therefore the main difference between perimenopause vs menopause, is that this is the final stage before entering into menopause.
Understanding the difference between perimenopause vs premenopause symptoms
Now that we have explained the difference between common perimenopause vs premenopause symptoms, you should be able to understand what stage of menopause you are in. These symptoms are very similar to being in the actual period of menopause.
To cover the stages leading up to menopause, here is a recap:
- Premenopause: This stage happens well before you enter into menopause.
- Perimenopause: This stage arrives once you are closer to entering menopause, but you will still be receiving your period.
- Menopause: This is the stage where your ovaries have shut down and you will not continue your menstrual cycle.
So what is perimenopause? This is the stage that happens before menopause arrives giving you signs and symptoms that will trigger you to understand you are getting closer to that point. If you are getting closer to menopause then you should consider certain supplements for perimenopause as well as vitamins for premenopause if they are needed. If you are one of the lucky ones who does not experience symptoms of perimenopause or premenopause, then you can disregard it. Although taking perimenopause supplements could be beneficial with or without symptoms because your body is adjusting to hormonal changes during this period. Your body will take time to adjust, but there is no need to worry as there are many safe methods to cure any menopausal or perimenopausal needs.