The perimenopause is the stage when ovarian function is changing, often leading to a change in periods and the early signs of estrogen deficiency. It can be a very confusing time since the ovaries can produce different levels of hormones from month to month. This fluctuating stage can last for a few years before the ovarian hormones are very low, the lining of the womb stops being stimulated and hence periods stop--THE MENOPAUSE. Following the menopause, defined as the last period, estrogen deficiency symptoms may occur but then the situation is less fluctuant and can be easier to treat.
Treatments around the time of the perimenopause have to take into consideration control of bleeding, contraception requirements, and control of early estrogen deficiency symptoms, not to mention all the life stresses which often occur at the same stage, all very challenging at times.
Don't miss the Medical Matters programme, BBC Radio 4, on perimenopause on Wednesday 2nd Feb 2011 at 3.30pm, with an interview with myself. After the programme has aired a link to the prog will be on our Multimedia page www.menopausematters.co.uk/podcasts.php .