2000 South Springfield Ave.
Bolivar, Missouri 65613
Phone/Fax: 417-777-7455

Pre-Menopause or Peri-Menopause

The broad definition of pre-menopause is the entire time prior to menopause. To understand this you must first know what menopause really is. Menopause is when your body quits producing eggs and you no longer have a period. So, we usually think of pre-menopause as the time just prior to menopause or to early menopause. Early menopause would be when a woman begins to have signs or symptoms of menopause prior to the average age. The average or normal range for a woman to experience the signs of beginning menopause is around age 40. There are many women that go through early menopause and there is no proven reason as to why this occurs, except in the case of surgery or chemotherapy treatments.

The time just prior to menopause would be the time that would include all of the signs and symptoms that every woman associates with menopause. This time can be from 2 years to 6 years. There is no pre-set time on the length of pre-menopause, just like there is not set length of labor. Every woman is different and will experience pre-menopause differently.

Pre-menopause would be the time when you begin to have signs and symptoms that show you are on your way to menopause. This is the time when you will begin to experience irregular periods, mood swings, irritability and other signs. All of these symptoms are from the hormonal levels in your body decreasing. During this time your bone density will also decrease.

During pre-menopause you should talk with your physician about any concerns that you may have with any of the symptoms and ways to ease the discomfort. Eating right and maintaining an exercise program is a great way to help with some of the aches and pains associated with menopause and the aging process,  In addition, compounded bio-identical hormone therapy can help balance your hormone levels which, in turn, will help with unwanted symptoms. PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome), endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovary disease and irregular and excessive bleeding are disease states that can also benefit from bioidentical hormone therapy.

Menopause is defined as missing 12 consecutive menstrual periods. Not all women will experience symptoms during this time. However, for the ones that do, symptoms can be debilitating and leave women experiencing a less than optimal quality of life. Once menopause is complete (called post menopause) and you have not had a period for 1 year, you are no longer at risk of becoming pregnant. The symptoms of menopause are caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. The ovaries make less of these hormones over time.

Common symptoms of menopause include:
·   Heart pounding or racing
·   Hot flashes
·   Night sweats
·   Skin flushing
·   Sleeping problems (insomnia)

Other symptoms of menopause may include:
·   Decreased interest in sex, possibly decreased response to sexual stimulation
·   Forgetfulness (in some women)
·   Headaches
·   Irregular menstrual periods
·   Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety
·   Urine leakage
·   Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
·   Vaginal infections
·   Joint aches and pains
·   Irregular heartbeat (palpitations)

Every woman needs to make an informed decision, along with her doctor, about the best treatment for menopause and post menopause symptoms. Diet and exercise, over-the- counter supplements, and other lifestyle changes may relieve some symptoms. However, for those with symptoms that interfere with your quality of life, achieving hormonal balance with bio-identical hormones may be the key. Saliva testing kits are available at The Medicine Shoppe and Custom Compounding Center. Consultations are available by appointment with our pharmacist. Please call 1-800-939-5545 or 417-326-7455.