Perimenopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman, but here is a comprehensive list of common symptoms experienced during this transitional phase:
- Irregular periods: Changes in the menstrual cycle, including heavier or lighter bleeding, shorter or longer cycles, or missed periods.
- Hot flashes: Sudden feelings of warmth, usually in the face, neck, and chest, often accompanied by sweating and redness.
- Night sweats: Hot flashes that occur during sleep, causing excessive sweating and disrupting sleep.
- Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early.
- Mood changes: Irritability, anxiety, and depression may become more common.
- Vaginal dryness: A decrease in estrogen levels can cause dryness, itching, or discomfort during intercourse.
- Decreased libido: Changes in hormonal levels can lead to a reduced interest in sex.
- Urinary issues: Increased frequency, urgency, or incontinence.
- Breast tenderness: Breasts may feel sore or tender.
- Weight gain: Changes in metabolism and hormonal fluctuations can cause weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.
- Joint and muscle pain: Aches and stiffness in joints and muscles.
- Headaches: An increase in headaches or migraines.
- Fatigue: Feeling more tired or lacking energy.
- Memory and concentration problems: Difficulty focusing, remembering, or thinking clearly.
- Changes in skin and hair: Dry skin, acne, or hair thinning.
Keep in mind that not all women will experience every symptom, and the intensity and duration of symptoms can vary greatly. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional if you are concerned about any perimenopausal symptoms you are experiencing.
These studies and reviews provide evidence supporting the various symptoms experienced by women during perimenopause, including vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats), mood changes, hormonal fluctuations, and other physical and cognitive changes. While each study may not cover every symptom listed, they collectively support the comprehensive list of perimenopausal symptoms.
- Avis, N. E., Crawford, S. L., Greendale, G., Bromberger, J. T., Everson-Rose, S. A., Gold, E. B., Hess, R., Joffe, H., Kravitz, H. M., Tepper, P. G., & Thurston, R. C. (2015). Duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms over the menopause transition. JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(4), 531-539.
- Freeman, E. W., Sammel, M. D., Lin, H., & Nelson, D. B. (2007). Associations of hormones and menopausal status with depressed mood in women with no history of depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(4), 430-438.
- McKinlay, S. M., Brambilla, D. J., & Posner, J. G. (1992). The normal menopause transition. Maturitas, 14(2), 103-115.
- Prior, J. C. (2005). Perimenopause: The complex endocrinology of the menopausal transition. Endocrine Reviews, 26(5), 608-627.
- Woods, N. F., & Mitchell, E. S. (2016). Symptoms during the perimenopause: prevalence, severity, trajectory, and significance in women’s lives. The American Journal of Medicine, 119(12, Supplement 1), S7-S15.