Perimenopause & Menopause

Perimenopause and menopause are a signal of new life stages in every woman’s life, and the compassionate, expert team at St. Elizabeth Women’s Health team is here to offer support and evidence-based care. Because no two women are the same, we provide services specific to your needs and goals. Some women have occasional symptoms, while others experience bothersome symptoms such as mood swings, memory loss, weight gain and hot flashes. No matter what you’re experiencing, we’re right here for you every step of the way.

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the step before you reach menopause. Women in perimenopause no longer have regular monthly periods; instead, they might skip a month altogether. Women in perimenopause also have inconsistent flows — a “barely there” flow one month followed by a heavy flow the next month.

Women can reach perimenopause at different ages; however, many start transitioning into perimenopause in their 40s. It’s possible to get pregnant with irregular periods during the perimenopause stage.

What is menopause?

If you haven’t had a menstrual cycle in 12 consecutive months, you have moved from the perimenopause phase into menopause. This natural shift in a woman’s body signifies that you can no longer get pregnant. Typically, menopause occurs in women between 45 and 55 years old, with an average age of 50.

Have questions? Schedule an appointment today.

Call 1 (800) 737-7900 or log into MyChart to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

The absence of a monthly period does create changes in your body. Each menstrual cycle releases hormones, and menopause symptoms can appear without those monthly hormones. The St. Elizabeth Women’s Health team can work with you to determine how to best treat your menopause symptoms. These can range from lifestyle adjustments to medications to scientifically based FDA-approved hormone therapy.

Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause

The most common perimenopause and menopause symptoms include:

  • Changes in weight
  • Decreased libido
  • Dry skin
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Hair Loss
  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Lower bone density
  • Mood Swings
  • Night Sweats
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

Tracking your periods in a journal can help note cycle patterns, how many months it has been since your last period and any new symptoms you experience. This information can help your provider understand precisely what you’re experiencing and how often.

Causes of perimenopause and menopause

Many perimenopause and menopause symptoms appear from decreased production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. During these stages, your body naturally lowers these hormone levels – usually, the decline in levels occurs after peak childbearing ages. The reduction in hormones can cause those uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes and the inability to get a good night’s sleep. Some women experience a drop in testosterone levels, which can lower sex drive, increase vaginal dryness and impact bone health.

Perimenopause and menopause risk factors

Risk factors for perimenopause and menopause are higher for patients who smoke, have undergone a hysterectomy or have a cancer history.


Perimenopause and menopause treatment options

There is good news about menopause and perimenopause symptoms: treatment options are available to help make you more comfortable in your daily and night routines. The most common menopause treatments include:

  • FDA approved hormone therapy (estrogen and/or progesterone)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to manage hot flashes
  • Vaginal estrogen to treat dryness and urinary issues

Our urogynecology team will review your symptoms, discuss your concerns and make a custom-designed treatment recommendation to fit your needs. Simple lifestyle adjustments like daily walks and increased water intake can also help with symptom management.

Make an Appointment Today!

Are you interested in learning more about menopause services at St. Elizabeth?

Call 1 (800) 737-7900 or log into MyChart to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.