Cycle Changes

woman in nature photoExperiencing changes in your menstrual cycle?

One of the earliest signs that perimenopause is occurring and that menopause is approaching, is a change in your menstrual cycle. Here’s what you may experience:

  • Missed periods ­ you may skip your period for a month or two
  • Change in frequency – periods may be spaced closer together or farther apart
  • Change in flow ­ your bleeding may be lighter or heavier or you may experience clotting
  • Duration of periods ­ your periods may be shorter or last longer
  • Bleeding between periods ­ you may have spotting between periods
  • Bleeding after sex ­ following intercourse, you may experience bleeding
  • PMS symptoms ­ your PMS symptoms may be stronger and last longer

If you don’t have a great relationship with a health care provider, midlife is the perfect time to establish one. A comprehensive annual physical and pap smear are absolute musts during times of hormone transition. Many of the signs and symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are completely normal, but it is important to know what your baseline health is and to assure nothing abnormal is going on. Screening for early disease is also vitally important to good health.

Listen to what your body is telling you during the cycle month. There may be certain times of the month when you have symptoms, or your symptoms may not be related to cyclic days. Also be aware of bleeding that is not normal for you. Some of the changes you’re experiencing could be related to other conditions, so be sure to discuss them with your health care provider.