When I first heard the word perimenopause I had no idea what it meant. Now that I'm entering this phase of my life, the several years that precede full-on menopause, I have a much greater understanding.

Essentially, perimenopause is the lead up to menopause which is primarily defined by coming to the end of your period. Unlike when your period started (on that fateful day in grade eight, while you were doing cartwheels in the playground and your friend Paul suggested that you needed to go and talk to the teacher) menopause takes it's sweet time to set in. So welcome to the peri stage...sort of period, but not quite the same as before.

All facets of menopause are a natural part of being a woman. You do not have a disease, medical problem or strange illness. Your hormone levels are changing. As a result, your period will change until it finally stops altogether.

Be aware that our highly commercial focused society will try to medicalize your symptoms. Be wise. Look for natural alternatives before getting on the pill band wagon. Weigh the risks and benefits carefully. Become your own authority.

Other signs of perimenopause appear on our symptoms pages and include various suggestions for managing these changes. Every woman will have a different experience. Try not to resist your natural process. Rather respect the shifts that your body is making and enjoy this new and wonderfully rich stage of your life.

And last, but not least talk to other women about their experience. We possess a wealth of information that can and should be shared between us.

For more information on Menopause and Perimenopause please click the links above.
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