Perimenopause is characterized by three major hormonal changes that may begin in regularly menstruating women in their mid-30s. These hormonal changes include erratic and higher estrogen levels, decreased progesterone levels, and ovarian-brain communication changes. During this time your ovaries change the amount and timing of estrogen they produce. Perimenopause usually begins 3-4 years before menopause. It can start as early as 10 years before you actually reach menopause.
As a result, you will begin to notice some changes. You might see more of your hair on the shower floor. You might begin to have hot flashes or night sweats. You might notice that you are having trouble concentrating. Or you might be experiencing vaginal dryness. You might also note increased menstrual flow. You might notice challenges maintaining a healthy body weight. During perimenopause, some women are still able to conceive and have a normal pregnancy at this stage. Perimenopause is mother nature’s way of saying you are getting ready for a metamorphosis—you are beginning your transition to the next wonderful stage of womanhood.