Perimenopause is the timeframe which women experience most of their symptoms of menopause. It can last for a year after menopause has passed. Most women have the experience from ages 45 to 55, but it can occur earlier. Typical symptoms and changes can vary based by woman. Common symptoms that can be expected are hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, night sweats, or mood changes. It is common to feel confused or have difficulty focusing on daily tasks during the onset of perimenopause. Menstrual periods show differences in patterns. Menstruation may become heavier or lighter, and may vary in the amount of time that they last or how often they frequent. Most women experience vaginal dryness due to changes in hormone levels. Hormone replacement therapy is an option that many women use to help them deal with the symptoms of perimenopause. These are prescribed in specific medications or birth control pills. Women who have been on birth control and begin experiencing menopause usually are recommended to start taking hormone replacement therapy instead. Many women use online communication to discuss side effects and what to expect from these treatments. Some women are also more comfortable with having a female doctor to discuss this circumstance with because they feel as if the will be related to more easily. Since the doctor is a woman, women who are affected with perimenopause may feel that they are able to gain more insight into the changes within their bodies and their situation if they are able to discuss their experiences with an individual who has more of a personal interest and concern in this area of health and maturity. Support groups are an important aspect for many women who are dealing with perimenopause as well. The issue with menopause and perimenopause is that unless a women is around other women who are her own age, it can be difficult to interact with people who truly understand the symptoms and can relate on the basis of experiencing the same difficulties. As a result, being able to join a support group and talk about treatments that have worked and different types of therapies or actions that have provided positive results is the ideal way to ensure that women keep active while dealing with this challenging phase of their lives. Although many women deal with perimenopause as just another change to their body, there are many women who feel frustrated and struggle to deal with the changes.

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