How the time before menopause can shape a woman’s health
Did you know that perimenopause, the time during which a woman’s body prepares for menopause, can last between four to ten years? During this time, a woman’s body goes through numerous hormonal and reproductive changes as it prepares to stop ovulating and enter the next stage of life. Some women may notice certain symptoms, like hot flashes, irregular periods and even mood disorders like anxiety and depression as early as their mid-thirties.
Similar to puberty and pregnancy, perimenopause can be a time that significantly impacts a woman’s mental health – especially considering the other emotional, physical and mental stressors that may be present at the time. Unfortunately, there’s no single test to diagnose perimenopause. But, if you start experiencing new symptoms that are negatively impacting your quality of life – such as sleepless nights or long-lasting feelings of sadness and isolation, it may be a good idea to check in with your doctor.
For more about how a woman’s reproductive cycle can affect her health, check out this special series, “Women’s Mental Health at Key Stages in Life,” on NPR news.