Are Irregular Periods a Symptom of Perimenopause?
Q: Are very irregular periods a symptom of perimenopause?
A: Yes,one of the first symptoms you may notice during perimenopause is irregular periods.The hallmark of perimenopause, which is the phase prior to menopause, is irregularity. We all grow up thinking that when you enter the change of life and become menopausal, your periods just stop. That is not the case.
What happens is your periods start to become irregular. You can have too many periods, you can have too few, you may skip a period and then get regular again, and you may skip a few periods. You may think, oh my, I am in menopause, and suddenly your period comes back again.
Prior to menopause your periods are usually very regular. The amount of hormone that you are producing is very regular and predictable. However, as you approach menopause, entering the perimenopausal phase, the ovaries are unpredictable. You will have months when you dont ovulate, and that causes irregular bleeding.
How long this irregularity lasts is highly individual. Could be a year, could be two years, could be three years and that is all normal variation. I like to say that the ovaries are stuttering. You dont always ovulate and your previous hormonal milieu begins to change.
Eventually you will experience fewer periods and finally your periods will stop. You are not officially in menopause until you have skipped 12 consecutive periods.