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7 changes you may notice in your periods during perimenopause

Perimenopause can result in hormonal imbalances in your body, which can cause significant changes in your periods. Here's how it can change your menstrual cycle.
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Aayushi Gupta Published: 12 Mar 2024, 18:15 pm IST
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Are you going to hit the perimenopause stage soon? The perimenopause phase typically begins in some women in their 30s, but more commonly, it initiates in women aged 40-44. It is marked by changes in menstrual flow and the length of the cycle. During this stage, ovaries gradually decrease estrogen production, resulting in irregular periods and other hormonal fluctuations, preparing the body for menopause. Although these changes are natural, they can be confusing to understand, causing a lot of discomfort. To address these symptoms effectively, it’s important to stay informed about potential period changes during perimenopause. To manage these symptoms, you should be aware of certain changes in your periods during perimenopause that may occur.

7 changes in periods during perimenopause

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, to learn about all the period changes that may occur during perimenopause and when you should see a doctor.

1. Irregular menstrual cycles

One of the hallmark signs of perimenopause is irregular periods. Your monthly cycle may become shorter or longer, and bleeding may be heavier or lighter than usual. Some women may experience unpredictable spotting between periods.

Also Read: Everything you need to know about perimenopause and hitting it in your 30s

2. Increased or decreased bleeding

Fluctuations in hormone levels during perimenopause can lead to changes in the amount of blood lost during menstruation. Some women may notice heavier periods, while others may experience lighter bleeding. These changes can occur randomly or follow a pattern over several cycles.

Implantation bleeding
Heavy bleeding is a symptom of perimenopause. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Shortened or prolonged periods

“The duration of menstrual bleeding can also change during perimenopause. Some women may find that their periods become shorter, lasting only a few days, while others may experience prolonged bleeding that lasts longer than usual,” says Dr Thamke.

Also read: Perimenopause diet: Superfoods to eat and avoid to manage early symptoms of menopause

4. Changes in menstrual symptoms

Menstrual symptoms such as cramping, bloating, breast tenderness, and mood swings may also fluctuate during perimenopause. Some women may find that these symptoms become more intense, while others may experience relief as hormone levels shift.

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5. Bleeding between periods

Hormonal imbalances during perimenopause can sometimes cause bleeding between periods, also known as intermenstrual bleeding. This bleeding can occur between periods and may be mistaken for menstruation, leading to confusion about the timing of the menstrual cycle.

6. Missed periods

As hormone levels fluctuate and ovulation becomes irregular, some women may experience missed periods or cycles where menstruation does not occur. This can be a normal part of perimenopause, but it’s essential to rule out other possible causes, such as pregnancy or underlying health conditions.

7. Ovulation changes

Perimenopause can affect ovulation, the process by which the ovaries release eggs. Ovulation may become irregular or cease altogether, leading to cycles where no egg is released. “This can contribute to changes in menstrual patterns and fertility during this stage of life,” explains Dr Thamke.

A girl with a menstrual calendar
Perimenopause can even miss your period cycle. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

When to see a doctor?

It’s generally a good idea to see a doctor if you experience significant changes in your menstrual cycle during perimenopause, such as unusually heavy or prolonged periods, irregular bleeding, or sudden changes in frequency. Additionally, if you have concerns about other symptoms, such as severe pain, hot flashes, mood swings, or disturbed sleep cycle, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate management.

How to manage changes in periods during perimenopause?

5 tips that can help you manage changes in your periods during perimenopause:

  • Keep a menstrual calendar to monitor changes in cycle length, flow, and symptoms. This can help you anticipate and manage irregularities.
  • Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and managing stress can help alleviate menstrual symptoms and support hormonal balance.
  • Drink plenty of water to help reduce bloating and support overall health during perimenopause. Also, avoid consuming alcohol.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can help manage menstrual cramps and discomfort.
  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is essential.

If needed, check with your healthcare provider to regulate periods and manage perimenopause symptoms!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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