Tuesday 15 September 2015

Perimenopause Q & A with Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla Ahlgrimm
Q: What is perimenopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Perimenopause marks the beginning of the transition to menopause. This is the time in a woman’s life when hormonal changes begin to cause noticeable effects.

Q: What are some of the early stages of perimenopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There is no way to definitively predict which symptoms a woman will experience. However, perimenopause begins with reduced fertility, minor sleep disturbance, hot flushing and an irregular menstrual cycle.

Q: What age does perimenopause usually begin?

Marla Ahlgrimm: On average, women enter perimenopause at around the age of 47. However, it is not uncommon for changes to take place a full decade earlier. Perimenopause usually lasts for around four years but can fluctuate one way or the other. Very rarely, a woman will move directly from premenopause to menopause. These women do not experience the hormone fluctuations that are characteristic of perimenopause.

Q: Is perimenopause a natural occurrence?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely! As a woman ages, her body naturally changes. The hormones she needed during childbearing years are no longer required. While many clinical practitioners often characterized perimenopause as a disease, it is not. Terms such as adult “onset ovarian failure”, which is common in some pockets of the medical community, typify perimenopause as less than a natural progression.

Q: Is it possible to get pregnant during the early stages of perimenopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: It is possible, though less likely than if a woman were to have unprotected sex in her teens, 20s, and 30s. As a woman’s body matures, fertility naturally decreases.

Q: What are some common symptoms of perimenopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Waning hormones may result in irregular periods with unusually heavy or light bleeding. Changes that occur because of fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels often result in what many describe as “hot flashes.” Urinary tract infections, moderate to severe insomnia, acne, mood swings, and headaches have also been reported by vast majority of women.


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