When you begin to go through perimenopause, you may notice changes in your menstrual cycle. Some of these changes can seem alarming or concerning but aren't signs that something is wrong. However, there are times where seeing a gynecologist may not be a bad idea. At the very least, talking to your doctor can ensure you don't have serious problems. Here is more information about common bleeding problems during perimenopause and how your gynecologist can help if you feel you have serious problems.
Perimenopause is the time when your hormones begin to change before you stop ovulating completely. This time can last up to ten years, but the average length is four years. Most women start between their mid-30s and mid-50s. During perimenopause, ovulation slows down. You may also experience changes in the frequency and consistency of your period. You may also have other changes like trouble sleeping or hot flashes.
Each woman experiences menopause differently. Some women have a difficult transition with more frequent or heavier periods. Others may not notice the changes or have a shorter transition period. Most women experience a decline in fertility during this time but can still get pregnant.
Common Perimenopause Menstruation Issues
Irregular and changing menstruation patterns are normal and expected during menopause. Many women experience or notice some of the changes listed below.
- Longer periods (sometimes lasting more than one week)
- Shorter periods (lasting less than a week)
- Heavier and more frequent periods
- Fewer and lighter periods
- Spotting between periods
- Irregular periods
You may experience more than one of these issues during your perimenopause. For example, you may start out having more frequent periods, then suddenly go months without one. You may have mostly light periods, only to have heavier ones later.
Signs You Should See Your Gynecologist
If any of the above issues disrupt your life, see your gynecologist. Severe or unusual symptoms could signal a problem like uterine fibroids and polyps. If you are otherwise healthy, you may benefit from hormone therapy. Hormone therapy helps smooth out the perimenopause fluctuations that cause severe symptoms like heavy or more frequent bleeding.
Abnormal bleeding and related issues are not uncommon as you head through perimenopause. Most of them should not cause you more than a minor inconvenience. In addition to seeing your gynecologist when you have a problem, you should also have your regular exams. In some cases, your doctor may spot a problem before you realize you have one. Your gynecologist can also help you with other common perimenopause problems.