A Gynecologist, Dr Isaac Shamaki, has advised women to be psychologically prepared for a condition in their adult life called primenopause.
Perimenopause or menopause is the time when ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen, which usually starts in a woman in her 40s but can even start in her 30s or earlier.
Shamaki told NAN in Abuja on Sunday that perimenopause means a time characterised by irregular menses, usually more spaced out, beginning from 30 years.
He said that in spite of its inevitability, women would experience changes in their menstrual cycle throughout since their period was directly tied to their hormones.
He explained that “from the late 30s, hormones start to fluctuate, and can lead to scanty, lighter periods.
“When a woman turns 40, her body starts to shake things up, before she reaches menopause, her body goes through perimenopause, a transition time between normal periods and full menopause.
“A skipped period is the first sign of deteriorating egg quality.
“Some months, the eggs just do not reach a point where they release, and so a period gets missed,” he said.
The expert said that women do not go into menopause until they go into a full year without menstruation.
Shamaki said that a woman’s period could come closer together because there was no “normal” period when it comes to her menstrual cycle.
He noted that some women might actually experience more periods in their post 40, adding that “in some cases, estrogen and progesterone surge during the menstrual cycle and periods could come closer together, and the flow might get heavier.
According to him, the period will be late in some months, while in some months, it skips.
“As hormones fluctuate more dramatically, women who have mood symptoms with their periods tend to see more fluctuations in those moods. Some women get very depressed as the hormonal fluctuations become more significant.
“If you find yourself becoming significantly depressed, do not’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor.
“Anti-depressants are very helpful in this kind of depression, and if left untreated, it can become very severe during the menopausal transition,” he advised.
Shamaki noted that even though periods might come less frequently or might be lighter than before, they would still experience those gut-churning cramps and they might actually be worse.
He said that cramps could get worse in the beginning of perimenopause due to the closer and stronger surges of estrogen and progesterone.
“The good news, however, is that as you get close to menopause, menstrual flow becomes less often and is lighter hence, less cramps.