What Are the Signs That Perimenopause is Ending?
Understandably, many women are looking for clarity and reassurance about the signs that perimenopause is ending. Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to the milestone of menopause, when you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months. The perimenopause stage is marked by a variety of physical and emotional changes due to fluctuating hormone levels.
Each person’s perimenopause is different, and while it lasts an average of one to four years, it can range anywhere from a few months to 10 years. Experts divide this stage into two phases: early and late perimenopause. The length of early perimenopause can vary widely, and late perimenopause lasts for an average of one to three years.
While there are no hard and fast rules, these are the signs that may indicate that you are nearing the conclusion of perimenopause and about to reach the milestone of menopause.
1. Less Frequent Periods
The most reliable sign that you are nearing menopause is menstrual cycle changes. Early perimenopause is marked by when menstrual cycles become irregular, and consistently vary by at least seven days. Bleeding usually also becomes irregular, but it can be both heavier or lighter than usual.
Generally speaking, someone is considered to be in late perimenopause when their periods begin to be at least 60 days apart. This irregularity in your menstrual cycle is a clear indicator that your body is moving closer to the menopausal stage.
Midday’s scientifically validated menopause stage feature estimates how close you are to menopause using information you provide about your menstrual cycle and other symptoms. As your cycle changes, you’ll see your progress towards menopause.
2. (Potentially) More Frequent Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are linked to decreasing levels of estrogen in the body as you approach menopause. About half of women experience hot flashes in perimenopause that worsen as menopause approaches, but there is no one universal pattern. Some people will see their hot flashes worsen, others will improve, and some will stay relatively consistent. The other half of women don’t begin to experience hot flashes until after menopause, or never get them at all. Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict what your experience will be.
3. Decreased Libido
A combination of rapid decreases in estrogen in perimenopause and slow, gradual decreases in testosterone with age typically leads to a decrease in sexual desire. While this change can be more or less pronounced for each individual, a decrease in libido is a natural indicator of the menopause process.
4. (Likely) Increased Vaginal Dryness
Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) is an umbrella term that encompasses genital changes that result from low estrogen levels. Symptoms of GSM include vaginal dryness and pain with sex, increased urinary urgency and increased likelihood of urinary tract infections (UTIs). GSM eventually affects nearly all postmenopausal women, but begins to appear in perimenopause. The longer vaginal tissues have been without estrogen, the more likely you are to experience discomfort.
GSM is a progressive condition that does not improve on its own. However, there are several highly effective treatment options that can make a major difference in your ability to comfortably live your life and participate in sexual intimacy.
5. Fewer Migraines
Some women who have been prone to migraines may find relief during late perimenopause. The hormonal fluctuations that contribute to migraines can stabilize, leading to a decrease in the frequency and intensity of this type of headache.
6. More Stable Mood
Emotional roller coasters are not uncommon during perimenopause, but as this phase nears its end, many women report a more stable mood. Hormonal fluctuations tend to level out, which can contribute to a greater sense of emotional equilibrium.
7. Generally More Predictable Menopause Symptoms
As perimenopause concludes, you may find that your menopausal symptoms become more predictable. The intense fluctuations and uncertainties that characterized the earlier stages of perimenopause tend to stabilize, allowing you to better manage and understand your body’s changes.
Perimenopause is a complex and transformative phase in a woman’s life. Recognizing the signs that perimenopause is ending can help you navigate this transition with greater confidence and understanding. Keep in mind that every woman’s experience is unique, so it’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals who can provide personalized guidance and support during this journey.
Remember, you’re not alone, and Midday is here to support you as you embrace this new chapter in your life with grace and resilience. For more information and support around your menopause journey, including a range of options for menopause symptom relief, download Midday from the App Store or visit us at Midday.Health.
Sign up for more unique women’s health content