Perimenopause (cont.)

Record your menstrual cycle, noting whether you have a heavy, normal, or light period.

  • Find a physical activity that you'll enjoy doing.

  • If you smoke, try to quit.

  • Keep your body mass index (BMI) at a normal level. Figure out your BMI by going to

  • Talk to your friends who are in perimenopause or menopause. Most likely, they're going through the same things you are!

  • Do something new - volunteer or take a class.

  • Use a vaginal lubricant for dryness and pain during sex.

  • Dress in layers.

  • Try to figure out if certain triggers cause hot flashes, like spicy foods or being outside in the heat. Avoid these things.

  • Talk with your doctor if you feel depressed or have any other questions about how to relieve your symptoms.

  • I'm going through perimenopause right now. My period is very heavy, and I'm bleeding after sex. Is this normal?

    Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause, but not all changes in bleeding are from perimenopause or menopause. Other things can cause abnormal bleeding. Talk to your doctor if:

    • the bleeding is very heavy or comes with clots

    • the bleeding lasts longer than 7 days

    • you have spotting or bleeding between periods

    • you're bleeding from the vagina after sex

    Can I get pregnant while in perimenopause?

    Yes. If you're still having periods, you can get pregnant. Talk to your doctor about your options for birth control. Keep in mind that methods of birth control, like birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms will not protect you from STDs or HIV. If you use one of these methods, be sure to also use a latex condom or dental dam (used for oral sex) correctly every time you have sexual contact. Be aware that condoms don't provide complete protection against STDs and HIV-the only sure protection is abstinence (not having sex of any kind). But appropriate and consistent use of latex condoms and other barrier methods can help protect you from STDs.

    For more in-depth information, please read the Menopause article.


    Last Editorial Review: 7/12/2005