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Menopause begins in the body with hormonal changes. Perimenopause begins for people in their 40’s but can begin earlier. Some of these effects continue into menopause.

Possible Symptoms of Perimenopause:

Irregular periods or periods that are either lighter or heavier than before

Vaginal dryness

Hot flashes/night sweats

 Sleep problems

Slower metabolism

Thinning hair and dry skin

Loss of breast fullness

Breast pain or tenderness

Racing heart


Joint and muscle aches and pains

Worsening of PMS

Changes in mood

Menopause usually begins for people in their early 50’s. It is defined by the absence of a period for one year. These are the additional “systemic” effects caused by the decrease in both estrogen and testosterone throughout the body in menopause.

Possible Symptoms of Menopause:

Loss of libido


Decreased orgasms

Weight gain


Memory problems

Dry skin, dry eyes or dry mouth

Difficulty concentrating

Depression or anxiety

The GSM (genitourinary) effects of menopause will progress with age. These are caused by the decline in estrogen and testosterone in the genitourinary region.

GSM Symptoms of Menopause:

Urinary incontinence

Painful urination


Vaginal dryness

Vaginal atrophy

Increase in UTIs


Vaginal wall thinning

Labia atrophy

Vaginal shortening

Vaginal contractions become fewer and weaker during orgasm

Weakening of pelvic floor muscles

Menopause Resources:

What Fresh Hell is This? Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities and You By Heather Corinna

Estrogen Matters: Why Taking Hormones in Menopause Can Improve Women’s Well-Being and Lengthen Their Lives—Without Raising the Risk of Breast Cancer by Avrum Bluming and Carol


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