What are the common signs and symptoms of perimenopause?

Written by: Miss Helen Bayliss
Published: | Updated: 31/08/2023
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In one of our latest medical articles below, we learn all about perimenopause, as highly distinguished Cardiff-based consultant gynaecologist and menopause specialist, Miss Helen Bayliss, sheds her expert light on the condition.

What is perimenopause, and how does it differ from menopause?

Perimenopause is any time in a woman’s life (normally over the age of 45) when you start to develop any of the symptoms associated with menopause. This could be without any change in your menstrual cycle.


What is the typical duration and age range associated with this transitional phase?

The symptoms of perimenopause can affect you at any age, but is more commonly experienced over the age of 45. Unfortunately, this condition is often misdiagnosed as both doctors and patients struggle to understand the various symptoms. Therefore, in retrospect, perimenopause may affect women years before their periods stop.


What are the common signs and symptoms of perimenopause?

One of the barriers of diagnosis is the recognition of symptoms associated with perimenopause. Most of us are aware of hot flushes or night sweats, but there are so many other subtle symptoms, such as hair loss, headaches, joint aches and stiffness, and a lack of sleep leading to fatigue during the day.


There is another very important aspect of perimenopause that we often don’t talk about, and these are the symptoms that you can’t see. These include feeling a little bit grumpy at times, not engaging with your friends and family, and anxiety. Finally, a lack of libido and the wellness associated with a loving relationship can also be a significant issue during this time.


Are there any hormonal changes during perimenopause?

Perimenopause is a period of time in a woman’s life when their ovaries may not be releasing an egg quite as regularly as normal. This leads to changes in all three of a woman’s hormones: oestrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.


All three hormones are so important to a woman’s medical well-being when it comes to our brain, bone, and heart health. During perimenopause, you do get gradual decreases in all three of these hormones, which has various physical and psychological impacts on our health.


How is perimenopause diagnosed?

If you’re over the age of 45 and you’re starting to experience any of the abovementioned symptoms, diagnosis should be made on this basis alone. Blood tests are not even needed.


What are the available treatment options for managing perimenopausal symptoms?

Perimenopause is very much a transitional stage in our lives. It’s the time when we can really start to focus on our physical and mental well-being. Without the hormone health though, it’s really difficult to focus on the other three important factors; diet, exercise, and mental health. We always ensure patients receive tailor-made treatment options to best manage their perimenopause.


To schedule in an appointment today with Miss Helen Bayliss, simply head on over to her Top Doctors profile today.

By Miss Helen Bayliss
Obstetrics & gynaecology

Miss Helen Bayliss is a leading consultant gynaecologist and menopause specialist in Cardiff who specialises in menopause, premenstrual syndrome and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), alongside premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), Mirena coil insertion and holistic management of menopause. She privately practises at Spire Cardiff Hospital and offers e-Consultations, while her NHS base is Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfill.

Miss Bayliss is highly qualified. She has an MBChB from the University of Birmingham, is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG) and is a diplomate of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (DFSRH). 

Miss Bayliss, who works within evidence-based guidelines provided by the British Menopause Society and NICE, has developed a special interest in the care of women experiencing menopause and perimenopause.  Furthermore, she is an accredited menopause specialist recognised by the British Menopause Society, and holds the advanced certificate in the principles and practise of menopause care. 

Miss Bayliss' research has been published in various peer reviewed journals, and she is a member of the British Menopause Society (BMS) and the British Association of Abortion Care Providers (BSACP). 

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