Do You Know the Symptoms of Perimenopause?
Perimenopause begins earlier than you think! Perimenopause means “around menopause” and refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years. Perimenopause is also called the menopausal transition.
Women start perimenopause at different ages. You may notice signs of progression toward menopause, such as menstrual irregularity, sometime in your 40s. But some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s.
Here are just a few of the many things you need to know about the menopausal transition.
Testosterone Levels Decline:
In women, testosterone starts declining at the age of 35.
Signs of testosterone deficiency include:
- Muscle weakness,
- Low libido,
- Sexual dissatisfaction,
- Vaginal dryness.
Progesterone Levels Decline:
Progesterone starts declining around the age of 40. A few signs of progesterone decline include:
- Breast tenderness,
- Irregular periods or spotting in between,
- Vaginal dryness,
- Anxiety and mood swings
Estrogen Levels Decline:
Estrogen is the main female hormone. Estrogen declines over time and will eventually result in menopause, which is defined as a lack of menses for 12 consecutive months.
The reduction in estrogen weakens our pelvic floor muscles (which contributes to increased risk of pelvic organ prolapse). Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where the pelvic organs (uterus, bladder, rectum) can drop into the vaginal canal and cause symptoms such as pelvic pressure, fullness, heaviness, bulging in vaginal canal, pelvic pain, low back pain, bowel issues, or bladder difficulties.
Many women may be surprised to learn that these hormone changes may be starting earlier than they think. The good news is that all of these symptoms are treatable with medical care and consideration of our pelvic floor and pelvic girdle muscles.
Perimenopause is a good time to check in with a pelvic floor physical therapist to have your pelvic floor evaluated. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” You may be a candidate for pelvic floor and girdle muscle strengthening if your muscles are starting to weaken.
If you would like to talk with a pelvic physical therapist about what you are experiencing, click here (https://legacytherapystl.com/phone-inquire/), and someone from our team will reach out to you.