How To Know if You Are Going Through Perimenopause and How To Manage Your Symptoms

You’ve been experiencing what you consider “abnormal” symptoms lately. 

You’re restless at night, your periods are changing, and sometimes you’re irritable for absolutely no reason. Then, one day, it hits you: 

“There’s no way. I’m not that old. I can’t be going through ‘the change” already!” 

Off to Google, you go. Could it be? You’re pecking away at the keyboard, “How to know if you’re going through menopause.” 

And now you’ve landed here. No worries, you’re in a comfortable space where we openly discuss women’s health. Keep reading and we’ll help you learn how to know if you are going through perimenopause and what you can do to manage your symptoms. 

Table of Contents

how do you know-if youre going through perimenopause

What Is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause means “around menopause.” It refers to the time in a woman’s life when their body starts making the natural transition into menopause. 

Think of it as the beginning of the end of your reproductive years. 

Perimenopause most commonly occurs during your 40s - 50s but can happen as early as your mid-30s. During this time, your estrogen levels will rise and fall, resulting in menopause-like symptoms before menopause begins. 

Perimenopause usually lasts about four years. Some women may only experience this stage for several months, while for others, perimenopause can last longer.

How Can You Tell If You Are in Perimenopause?

Most women assume they are in perimenopause because of the symptoms they are experiencing. Although there are no tests for perimenopause, blood tests can be done to test your hormone levels. 

These tests may help confirm any fluctuation in your hormones caused by perimenopause. Women experiencing perimenopause may begin experiencing menopausal-like symptoms. 

These symptoms can be subtle or severe and can help you determine if you’re going through perimenopause: 

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Drastic mood changes 
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability 
  • Headaches
  • Irregular periods
  • Decreased libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Breast pain
  • Exhaustion

how to know if you are going through perimenopause

9 Signs You Are in Perimenopause 

#1: Irregular Periods

Irregular cycles are one of the most common signs that you are in perimenopause.

During perimenopause, ovulation becomes more unpredictable. The time between your periods may become longer or shorter. Your flow may get heavier or lighter. And you may even skip several periods. 

Always talk to your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing irregular periods, as they may indicate other underlying conditions. 

#2: Hot Flashes

You’re relaxing on the couch when suddenly you’re sweaty, flushed, and way too hot. You check to see if someone’s cranking the heat, but it’s not above the normal temperature. 

Yep. Hot flashes can be another sign that you’re going through perimenopause. 88% of women — according to one study — experience hot flashes during perimenopause.

Hot flashes can be severe, or they may be mild. Women experiencing hot flashes due to menopause may also experience night sweats or chills. 

#3: Problems With Sleep

Whether it’s your hot flashes keeping you up at night or you’re just tossing and turning night after night — perimenopause could be to blame. 

Again, your hormones are causing chaos. Two specific hormones have been found to affect your sleep quality during perimenopause: 

  1. Estradiol, a form of the hormone estrogen, falls during perimenopause. Studies have linked this lack of estradiol to poor sleep quality. 
  2. Sleep quality may worsen when follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels rise during perimenopause. 

#4: Vaginal Changes

Several vaginal changes can occur during perimenopause. 

You may find yourself experiencing more vaginal infections due to pH changes. Or you may find yourself regularly fighting vaginal dryness. 

Vaginal dryness often occurs during late perimenopause. As estrogen levels fall and androgen levels shift, the tissue in the vagina loses its elasticity, and reduced lubrication occurs. 

This dryness during perimenopause can also lead to itching and irritation. 

Thankfully, there’s a way to overcome some of the vaginal changes that come with perimenopause and menopause. Cue Chiavaye. 

While there is a wide array of personal moisturizers and lubricants on the market, many of these contain ingredients that can worsen symptoms of perimenopause. 

Chiavaye is an all-natural lubricant and personal moisturizer created by a woman, for women. 

Our non-toxic, non-GMO, hormone-free lubricant can be used as a personal moisturizer to help alleviate any itching and irritation. 

how do you know-if youre going through perimenopause

#5: Mood Changes

“... You’re hot, then you’re cold. You’re yes, then you’re no. You’re in, then you’re out. You’re up, then you’re down …”

If you’ve started relating to Katy Perry’s lyrics more and more lately, but you can’t put your finger on why, it could be because of perimenopause. 

Ever-shifting hormones and lower hormone levels can cause rapid, unexplained mood “swings.” Perimenopause may cause you to feel: 

  • Irritable 
  • Nervous
  • Sad
  • Agitated 
  • Fatigued 

While your hormones are likely to blame, this can also be due to the other symptoms you’re experiencing, like trouble sleeping, heavier periods, etc. 

#6: Changes in Sexual Function

It’s uncomfortable. You don’t even feel like doing it. Literally, doing almost anything else sounds better. And then, when you finally “get in the mood,” you’re just not feeling it.

This can’t be real. Sex is a good thing. Sex used to be fun. 

What’s happening? 

Aside from vaginal pain, changes during perimenopause can also cause changes in sexual function. 

You may experience … 

  • Lack of libido
  • Difficulty reaching an orgasm; or
  • Pain before, during, or after sex

due to the thinning of your vaginal lining and shifts in hormone levels. 

And this isn’t uncommon during perimenopause. Studies have found that: 

  • Approximately 10-15% of women transitioning into menopause reported no sexual desire
  • 5% of women reported rarely experiencing sexual arousal
  • 20% of women experience painful sex, or dyspareunia, occasionally; and
  • 5% of perimenopausal women experience painful sex frequently 

#7: Loss of Bone Density

When your estrogen levels drop, so can your bone density. Because your body can’t replace it as quickly, your risk of osteoporosis increases. This typically occurs in women during late perimenopause. 

Help reduce the risk of lower bone density during perimenopause by eating a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium. 

#8: Changing Cholesterol Levels

You’ve never had high cholesterol a day in your life. Yet, now, here you are, barely mid-aged, dealing with high cholesterol levels. Why now? 

Lower estrogen levels may lead to changes in your cholesterol levels, increasing your low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and your risk of heart disease. 

Additionally, the “good” cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) may decrease as you age — this can also play a role in your changing cholesterol levels during perimenopause. 

#9: Forgetfulness

You’re not getting enough quality sleep, your mind is restless, and your hormones are constantly changing — no wonder you can’t remember where you put your keys yesterday.  

While it can be extremely frustrating, don’t over-stress over the forgetfulness. It may very well be due to perimenopause.

signs you are in perimenopause

When To Visit a Doctor for Perimenopause Symptoms

Although confirmation that you are experiencing perimenopause can put your mind at ease, a medical diagnosis isn’t necessary. 

You can usually determine if you are going through perimenopause based on: 

  1. Your symptoms; and
  2. How long those symptoms have lasted

You should seek medical care during perimenopause if: 

  • You are concerned your symptoms are due to something other than perimenopause
  • Your quality of life is being negatively affected by symptoms
  • You are dealing with bleeding after sex
  • You experience blood clots; or
  • Would feel more comfortable verifying that you’re perimenopausal. 

Can Perimenopause Be Treated?

Perimenopause cannot be treated, as it is a natural part of entering into menopause. But there are things that you can do to help manage specific symptoms associated with perimenopause. 

Treatments for specific symptoms may include: 

  • Antidepressants for intolerable mood swings
  • Estrogen therapy
  • Bio-identical hormone therapy
  • Birth control 
  • Vaginal creams
  • Etc. 

Managing Perimenopause Symptoms at Home

Okay, you’ve accepted that you’re dealing with perimenopause. It’s a hard pill to swallow — but now, what can you do to manage the symptoms?  

Aside from medical interventions and treatments, there are many things perimenopausal women can do to continue feeling like themselves during the transition, like: 

  • Eating a well-balanced diet: A diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help your body manage fluctuating hormones.
  • Continuing to move: Staying active can help alleviate some perimenopause symptoms. One study found that women who participated in moderate-to-high levels of physical activity had less severe symptoms.
  • Staying hydrated: Prevent recurring vaginal infections and reduce hot flashes by drinking enough water daily. 

how to know if your in perimenopause

Chiavaye: A Natural Solution for Women Battling the Symptoms of Perimenopause

Unfortunately, there’s no way to stop perimenopause from happening — although some women may experience milder symptoms than others. But you can find ways to cope with the symptoms.

Chiavaye is one of the best ways to manage vaginal changes and changes in sexual function. 

Don’t let hormonal changes stop you from feeling your best. 

Chiavaye’s all-natural formula contains no:

  • Harsh chemicals 
  • GMOs
  • Hormones
  • Fragrances
  • Sugar
  • Artificial flavors
  • Silicone
  • Fillers
  • Petroleum; or 
  • Preservatives

Just six ingredients make up Chiavaye: 

  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Vitamin E

Reap the benefits of each ingredient during perimenopause, menopause, or post-menopause. 

But the uses don’t stop there. Chiavaye can be used during childbirth, with a partner, or during a tough period. You may find that you enjoy the effects so much that it becomes a part of your normal bedroom routine! 

how do you know-if youre going through perimenopause

The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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