As you age, your reproductive health and needs will change. Your “biological clock” allows your body to be more prepared to have children during a certain time in your life. Then, as your hormones change, your chances of becoming pregnant reduce significantly, and after you have reached menopause, you will no longer be able to conceive. The period before menopause, known as perimenopause, still leaves a window open for the possibility of pregnancy, though chances of conceiving may be less likely. At Craig Ranch OBGYN of McKinney, TX, our providers can help you understand the changes that occur to your body during both perimenopause and menopause and distinguish the differences between the two.
What Is the Difference Between Perimenopause and Menopause?
Perimenopause is the transition period in a woman’s life when her body changes from normal menstrual cycles to menopause. This can start as early as age 35 and last several years. During perimenopause, you will experience a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms that are caused by fluctuating hormone levels. These include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Sleep disturbances
Menopause marks the end of reproductive capability for women and officially starts when no menstrual cycle has been experienced for 12 consecutive months. Menopause can occur anytime between the ages of 40 to 60. Once menopause has been reached, hormone levels remain lower than during perimenopause, and symptoms usually reduce significantly. There may still be some physical changes, such as skin dryness or thinning hair, but many of the more intense and bothersome symptoms associated with fluctuating hormones are no longer an issue.
Who Can I Connect With To Learn More About This Change?
At Craig Ranch OBGYN, we assist women in the area of McKinney, TX, who may be struggling with this transition in their later years. If you are curious and want to learn more about both perimenopause and menopause or are interested in an evaluation and proper diagnosis, we encourage you to call our office to book an appointment. Call 214-544-6600 to schedule a visit with our doctors.