Perimenopause: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 10/6/2022

Perimenopause is a term referring to the time around a woman's menopause. It does not have a specific definition but can refer to anytime a woman is experiencing menopausal symptoms. Menopause itself is defined as the point in time in which a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 months. After this point in time, a woman is referred to as postmenopausal.

Signs and symptoms of perimenopause include irregular or skipped menstrual periods or changes in the quality of menstrual bleeding. Other signs and associated symptoms can include hot flashes, breast tenderness, low sex drive, fatigue, and vaginal dryness that can lead to painful sex.

Cause of Perimenopause

Changes in hormone levels that occur with age cause menopause.

Other perimenopause symptoms and signs

  • Breast Tenderness
  • Changes in the Quality of Menstrual Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Hot Flashes
  • Low Sex Drive
  • Skipped or Irregular Menstrual Periods
  • Vaginal Dryness That Results in Painful Sex


If menopause occurs in a woman younger than ___ years, it is considered to be premature. See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.