Perimenopause and Discharge: What to Expect

Perimenopause and Discharge: What to Expect

What is Perimenopause?

The term “perimenopause” refers to the period of time after menarche (first menstrual period) when women are still menstruating but no longer have periods. Women experience this phase of their life from puberty until they reach menopause.

What Causes Perimenopause?

During the perimenopausal years, estrogen levels decrease and progesterone increases. These changes cause a drop in luteinizing hormone (LH), which causes the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Follicles produce eggs for reproduction. The decline in LH causes a rise in estradiol (E2) levels, which stimulates the production of other hormones such as prolactin and oxytocin. These hormones stimulate uterine contractions and increase blood flow to the uterus. A fall in estrogen levels causes a rise in progesterone, which decreases uterine contractions. This cycle continues until Estradiol levels become too low or testosterone levels become high enough to inhibit these effects.

How Does Perimenopause Affect Menstruation?

Menstrual cycles may begin earlier than usual due to lower estrogen levels. During the perimenopausal years, ovulation typically occurs less regularly or is absent. If a woman is still menstruating, her periods may become irregular or heavier and longer. If the woman has not yet started her periods, they are likely to start during the perimenopausal years.

What Are the Other Effects of Perimenopause?

During perimenopause, changes in hormones can cause various other physical changes. These changes may be both emotional and physical. The most common physical side effect is weight gain, which may or may not be controllable. A woman’s weight can increase due to decreased energy levels, food cravings, or an increased appetite.

Sources & references used in this article:

Abnormal uterine bleeding in perimenopause by SR Goldstein, MA Lumsden – Climacteric, 2017 – Taylor & Francis

Contraception and treatment in the perimenopause with a novel “frameless” intrauterine levonorgestrel-releasing drug delivery system: an extended pilot study by D Wildemeersch, E Schacht, P Wildemeersch – Contraception, 2002 – Elsevier

Perimenopausal knowledge of mid‐life women in northern Taiwan by LI Tsao, WY Chang, LL Hung, SH Chang… – Journal of clinical …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library

Managing perimenopausal menorrhagia by K Duckitt – Maturitas, 2010 – Elsevier

Endometrial ablation for perimenopausal menorrhagia by KH Roy, JH Mattox – Menopause Management, 2003 –

Obnormal uterine bleeding in the perimenopausal patient by S Bender – 2012 – Crown Archetype

Estrogen’s storm season: stories of perimenopause by AM Kaunitz – Contemporary OB/Gyn, 2002 –