Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of The Wisdom of Menopause , gives you the information about perimenopause and menopause you need to know.

Perimenopause
  • Perimenopause is a change in hormonal functions leading up to menopause. It is a "wake-up call" for your body! Dr. Northrup, explains that many perimenopausal women describe it as "Having our foot on the gas and not enough on the brake."
  • The symptoms of pre-menopause , or perimenopause as it's called, begin years before your period ends.
  • Some women experience no symptoms at all.
  • Perimenopause is a process similar to puberty: it doesn't happen overnight. As menopause approaches, women gradually go through changes physically, emotionally and spiritually. For many women, perimenopause can last anywhere from five to fifteen years.
  • Perimenopause occurs typically around age forty, but it's normal to begin in your thirties when your menstrual cycle is normal.
  • The onset of perimenopause doesn't mean you can't get pregnant. Women who do not want to get pregnant should use a form of birth control for one full year after their final period.
Menopause
  • Menopause is officially defined as that point in time when your periods stop permanently.
  • Even though your periods may have stopped occurring regularly, you are not completely done menstruating until one full year has passed from your last menstrual period.
  • The average age of women whose menstrual periods have completely stopped is 52.

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