Perimenopause, also known as the menopausal transition, is the period of time leading up to menopause when a woman’s body undergoes hormonal changes that eventually lead to the end of menstrual periods. It typically starts in a woman’s late 30s or early 40s, but can sometimes begin earlier or later.

During perimenopause, a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels begin to fluctuate, which can cause irregular periods, as well as symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. These symptoms can vary in severity and duration, and can last for several years before menopause is officially reached.

While perimenopause is a natural part of the aging process, it can sometimes be associated with health risks, such as an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. It is important for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this time, which can include regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.