Premenopausal symptoms at 30-35…Is this for real?

Are you gaining weight despite eating and exercising as you always did? Have you noticed that your energy levels or sex drive have declined? Hot flashes or night sweats at 30 years of age…that can’t be right, can it?

It can. Hormone imbalance in women with subsequent menopause-like symptoms can occur as young as 30-35 years of age. This is known as perimenopause and marks the initial transition towards menopause.

What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause, also known as premenopause or early menopause, occurs when hormone levels (especially estrogen and progesterone) begin a gradual, uneven decline.
A woman is officially considered perimenopausal when her menstrual cycles start to become irregular and a pituitary hormone called FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) increases.

  •  Periods begin to occur more or less frequently.
  •  Periods may be shorter or longer.
  •  There may be more or less bleeding than usual.
  •  Menopausal symptoms are often common

Although the average age of perimenopause is the early 40s, many women begin to notice perimenopausal symptoms in their early to mid-30s. This is often due to the rapid decline in progesterone (75% decline by 35 years of age) compared to estrogen (35% decline by 35 years of age). This results in a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. This is called estrogen dominance because there is not enough progesterone to balance the estrogen.

A woman who has gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period has officially reached menopause and the perimenopause period is over.

Symptoms of Perimenopause

The fluctuation or decline in female hormones may cause many symptoms of perimenopause, which are the same as the symptoms of menopause.

Symptoms of perimenopause can be worsened by poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress, or exposure to environmental toxins.Symptoms of perimenopause may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Mood swings
  • Irritiability
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Worsening memory
  • Difficulty concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Hair loss or hair thinning
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Vaginal changes
  • (i.e., dryness, itching, pain
  • with intercourse)
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Formication (crawling,
  • itching, or tingling skin
  • sensations)

Perimenopause vs Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

  • Perimenopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) have many similar symptoms.
  • Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occur due to the natural fluctuation (rise and fall) of estrogen and progesterone during a normal menstrual cycle.
  • Perimenopause can be distinguished from PMS (premenstrual syndrome) by the pattern of symptoms:
    1).The symptoms of PMS occur near the time of menses (just before and during a women’s period).
    2).The symptoms of perimenopause can be consistent or intermittent, but occur throughout a woman’s cycle and are not directly related to the time of menses.
before after

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- Pamela Hill, 66 yrs old

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