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What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the period before the menopause. Perimenopause starts when the amount of oestrogen made by the ovaries begins to decline. It usually begins in your 40s, although it can start earlier – see Early Menopause + and lasts an average of four years to seven years, although this can vary.

Perimenopause extends until after your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and you have your final period. The medical definition of menopause is when you haven’t had a period for at least a year. However, by the time of their menopause, many people will have experienced symptoms.

Although you may not be a fan of change, this is the start of a new phase in your life, without the hassle and expense of monthly periods. Try to embrace it; take a holistic approach to looking after yourself: try to reduce stress, exercise and nourish your body with a healthy diet, and if your symptoms are having an impact on your daily life, consult your GP.


To manage perimenopause symptoms, you need to be aware of what they are. We’re all different, and so are the effects that menopause has on our bodies. Because of that – and if the symptoms of the perimenopause are affecting your quality of life – we always recommend you seek the advice of a healthcare professional to discuss options tailored to your unique symptoms.

Did you know? Premenstrual syndrome often gets worse or may hit for the first time in your forties. This is due to the body working harder to produce an egg. The result is a roller coaster of hormones. This is what drives those wild mood swings.” – Dr Jane Davis

Around a quarter of people who go through the menopause will have no symptoms at all, but around 75% will experience a range of them, from acute sleeplessness, to brain fog, weight gain, hot flushes, aching joints and more. Sounds a joy, doesn’t it?

Menopause can be a challenge, your symptoms can affect family, work and home life. The first step to managing them, is to identify them.

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