Perimenopause is the transitional time period between having regular menstrual cycles and entering menopause. During this phase, hormones produced by the ovaries can vacillate greatly. This fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone levels can bring on many physical and emotional changes. For most women, the first noticeable changes are irregular menstrual cycles, including both skipped and more frequent menstrual periods. You’re in perimenopause until 12 consecutive months have passed without a menstrual period, at which point you have reached menopause. While the likelihood of becoming pregnant may be lower than when you were younger, you can still become pregnant while in perimenopause.
Symptoms vary greatly among women. While many women remain free of symptoms, others are challenged by fluctuating physical, sexual and emotional changes. For those who do have symptoms, the most common include: irregular periods, mood swings, sleep disturbances, the onset of vaginal dryness, intermittent pain during intercourse, occasional hot flashes, and/or night sweats.
Many options exist to alleviate perimenopausal symptoms. As a gynecologist and certified menopause clinician specialist, Dr. Kornreich is versed in a wide array of solutions. She begins by taking a complete medical history, discussing your symptoms and lifestyle in detail, conducting a physical examination, and performing any necessary tests that may include various laboratory and hormonal studies, a bone density evaluation, a mammogram, a pelvic ultrasound and/or a colonoscopy if indicated. Armed with this information, Dr. Kornreich will discuss your treatment options, and design a plan just for you. Depending on your symptoms, recommendations may include: bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, herbal supplements, nutrition, exercise or other modalities. To alleviate discomfort caused by the onset of vaginal dryness, she may recommend one or more of the following: local vaginal estrogen or non-estrogen therapies, the FDA-approved MonaLisa Touch vaginal CO2 laser, vaginal lubricants, and/or vaginal moisturizers.