Perimenopause or Menopause: How to Tell the Difference

Feminine Jungle © lynette sheppard

This guest post by Pam Andrews helps differentiate between these two phases of the Menopause journey with a focus on the less documented perimenopause phase. Enjoy.

Identify Perimenopause vs. Menopause Symptoms
By: Pam Andrews of

There is a large quantity of literature, online and in print, devoted to the treatment for hot flashes, natural menopause treatment, medical treatment to counteract severe perimenopause symptoms, and supplements for perimenopause and menopause. But those things – remedies, supplements, exercise plans, diet plans, treatment plans, and symptoms – all depend on which stage of menstrual cycle you’re currently in. Perimenopause and menopause have differences in their symptoms and correspondingly on how to provide relief for those sets of symptoms.

As the baby boomer generation continues to grow older, more and more women need to know the importance of taking the right vitamin supplements and eating a balanced diet tailored for perimenopausal and menopausal women. Perimenopause or the stage of early menopause can start in as early as the age of 30. Thus, it is crucial for all women to get a head start on being educated and informed, so that they will know their bodies well enough. That way, when they feel the signs or the symptoms, then they will recognize exactly what those mean and they can take care of themselves better.

All in all, there are 34 perimenopause and early menopause symptoms. Most of these symptoms affect around 70% of women. Perimenopause, in particular, often begins when a woman hits her 40s. The symptoms of menopause normally last during the entire menopause transition or until the age of mid 50s, but there are some women who may experience a range of menopausal symptoms for the rest of their lives even after they have undergone menopause. We have heard about the most popular symptoms which consist of hot flashes, irregular periods, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido. And there is also a host of other rare menopause symptoms which do not affect most women.

The common perimenopause symptoms are as follows: tenderness of the breasts, worsening of premenstrual syndrome, irregular periods, decrease in sex drive, discomfort during sexual intercourse due to the onset of vaginal dryness, fatigue, difficulty in sleeping, persistent mood swings, hot flashes, urinary incontinence and sometimes urine leakage when coughing or sneezing, gradual weight gain, dryness of hair and skin, and loss of bone density. On top of the perimenopause symptoms, the following are menopause-specific symptoms: depression, irritability, migraine headaches, joint and muscle aches, and palpitations or racing heart.

For more detailed and updated information about symptoms and natural remedies for dealing with perimenopause and menopause symptoms, visit

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4 Responses to Perimenopause or Menopause: How to Tell the Difference

  1. menopause age June 15, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Every women who reached the menopause age 50’s know the inner change of her life and adopt different strategies to coping with this inner process. Sometime she can handle but some time different symptoms come over which gives tough time for her. as i know the carrot seeds are also very help full in the menopause. I will surely use this. nonetheless i understand alot of thing which i never knew before reading this.

  2. Karlee Lewis January 15, 2014 at 1:40 am #

    Menopause comes in different symptoms, but the best thing to do is to hold a regular check up with your doctor. I am just 23 years old, but I always go to my doctor to have my general check up so that It will not hard for me when I will have the symptoms of menopause.

  3. LynetteSh January 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    Alas, Karlee, if that always worked there would be no need for our Menopause Goddess Blog. Here’s hoping that the medical profession has caught up to women’s wisdom by the time you go through Menopause.

  4. Elaine B Stewart April 6, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    There’s so little out there about peri menopause. I’ve recently turned 44 and am in menopause. It’s taken the doctors 4 years to accept my symptoms as peri menopause. I’ve endured anti-depressants, cancer scares, constant tiredness (and at one stage I’m pretty sure my doc thought I was making it all up!!) amongst many many symptoms that all now point to peri-menopause but for some reason most GP’s just don’t think of it a possibility before late 40’s early 50’s. I feel bad for women my age who are going through the journey I did …over a simple hormonal blood test. Even after diagnosis we’re left to find our own information…. oh you’re in menopause go get on with it. My first 6 months have been awful because none of my friends are at this stage, it can be a lonely scary time and forums like this will save women’s sanity and I applaud all of us who go through this journey and survive only slightly insane lol.

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