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PreMenopause Is PeriMenopause?

Sep-17-2010 By meno

Premenopause or Perimenopause- What do these menopause symptoms mean? This is a very real question.

Some people refer to premenopause as a specific incident when a woman experiences menopause at a much earlier age than anticipated. Usually the cause would be some sort of ovarian failure or perhaps cancer related surgery or chemotherapy.  Using this very specific definition, a young woman may experience menopause symptoms in the form of premenopause as early as age fifteen.

Not only would this precipitate major psychological upheaval in a young woman’s life, it would mean an exceptionally long time for her to live with post menopause symptoms and its related signs.  She most likely will require counseling and support and probably hormone replacement therapy or some sort of variation of these for most of her adult life.


Pre or Peri Menopause Symptoms?

However, most people consider premenopause to be the time preceding menopause when the woman’s body begins to gradually exhibit  menopause symptoms. Like a warning light or a wake up call to pay attention, the real thing is coming your way.  In this sense, premenopause is considered to be a part of perimenopause.

And perimenopause is more broadly defined as the times before and after, the pre and post of menopause. Or as some have stated the times when one set of  menopause symptoms begin and another set of menopause  symptoms end.

All of which is somewhat vague for the woman who is looking for answers.  All of which is directly related to “the change of life”.

When reading about menopause symptoms you will most likely notice that pre-menopause is a term that has been in use for a much longer time and it was not limited to very early medical cases. It simply meant the time leading up to menopause when a woman does begin to have hormonal changes at a gradual rate.

The more recent term perimenopause is beginning to assume a broader acceptance and become more widely used to encompass before and after menopause. Today, the term perimenopause is more popular to embrace all menopause symptoms. That does not imply it is any more accurate.

In my humble opinion it is a euphemistic way of deferring any reference to age in the menopausal process.  If we say PERIMENOPAUSE we could be referring to someone as young as 30 or as old as 60 and therefore it is a more loosely defined point of reference.  Somehow that seems to be more politically correct and less physiologically accurate.

You see it is not like turning on a light switch when one minute it is dark and the next it is light. Menopause is a process that does take time. And it does mean the same thing. Menses is finished. Fertility is finished. The next phase of a woman’s life has begun. Attitude and information really make all the difference in the world for every female.  How each woman handles menopause symptoms will differ as much as each person differs from another.

  1. Harlan Said,

    Certainly the transition from having a monthly reproductive cycle to having none does not occur over night. It involves a major shift in physiology, of emotions and even identity. When it happens earlier than usual, whether as a result of a disease process, surgical intervention or toxic exposure to the 21rst century environment, it is more difficult. Interestingly, some cultures have an easier time of it than others, probably due to favorable diet, less stress, and cultural attitudes. Whatever name we use to try and define the stages of this process, it is a process which varies greatly for different women, each one unique.
    Harlan recently posted..Synthetic Versus Bio-Identical HormonesMy ComLuv Profile

  2. meno Said,

    Thanks for your comment Harlan. I am a great supporter of simple solutions and I see your information and perspective has a lot to offer to women in western cultures, in particular. I like the idea that it is not the NAME we use to define the process and its stages that is most important, rather it is the continuum of change that is unique for each woman.

  3. Menopause Life Changes | Menopause Symptoms + Menopause Relief Said,

    [...] PreMenopause Is PeriMenopause? [...]

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