I have regular periods... Could this be Perimonopause?

I’m having Regular Periods, but I don’t feel right. Could this be Perimenopause?

When this paper was published in 2005, it took Women’s Health by storm. Women had been going to their doctors saying something just isn’t right. But, they were having regular periods, so the doctor would say nothing is wrong or possibly offer an antidepressant, oral contraceptive pill. Finally the word Perimenopause, and the biology to go with it, started to be recognised. How to help these women, during the prime of their lives with careers and families was another story…which is where, integrative medicine has been so very helpful.

Changes characteristic of perimenopause onset in regularly cycling women.

Any three of the following can be used to define perimenopause onset: (BC Medical Journal, Vol 47, No 10, Dec 05) 

Tick all symptoms that apply:

  • New heavy and/or longer menstrual flow
  • Shorter menstrual cycle lengths (25 days or less)
  • New sore, swollen, and/or lumpy breasts
  • New or increased menstrual cramps
  • New mid-sleep wakening
  • Onset of night sweats, especially around flow
  • New or markedly increased migraine headaches
  • New or increased premenstrual mood swings
  • Notable weight gain without changes in exercise or food intake

If three symptoms are ticked -> you may be in perimenopause -> learn about your changes in the article Hormone Changes from 30's to 40's

If less than three symptoms are ticked -> you probably aren’t in perimenopause, but we can talk about general women’s health

The above tool is a starting point. Blood tests definitely have a place, but daily diaries, however you choose to record them are extremely helpful since one month or even week can be so different to the next. See link for an example: