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Everything you need know about menopause and Perimenopause

Menopause is defined as the natural transition that heralds the end of a woman’s reproductive years, and is diagnosed when a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period.

Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to menopause, characterised by fluctuating hormone levels, including various symptoms (listed below). Perimenopause can last for several years, (10 years or more), before menopause is officially reached.

Irregular periods: Both perimenopause and menopause cause changes in the menstrual cycle, including irregular periods that may be heavier or lighter, or skipped altogether.

Hot flashes: Sudden feelings of warmth, flushing, and sweating.

Night sweats: Episodes of excessive sweating during sleep.

Mood swings: Irritability, misplaced emotions, reactivity, moodiness and seemingly unprovoked emotional ups and downs.

Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing poor-quality sleep is common.

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Overwhelm: A sense of uncertainty, upheaval and a loss of control akin to drowning.

Fatigue: Feelings of tiredness, fatigue, and absolute exhaustion are common.

Joint pain: Hormonal fluctuations can contribute to joint stiffness, pain, and discomfort, often resembling symptoms of arthritis.

Gum problems: Changes in hormone levels can affect oral health, leading to gum sensitivity, bleeding, and an increased risk of periodontal disease

Digestive issues: Bloating, indigestion, and changes in bowel habits.

Hair loss or thinning: Hormonal changes can affect hair growth and texture, leading to increased shedding, thinning of the hair, or changes in hair quality.

Olfactory changes: Some women may experience changes in sense of smell or increased sensitivity to odours, which can affect taste perception and overall well-being.


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