Perimenopause Spotting

Everything You Need to Know about Perimenopause Spotting


Around the age of 47 to 53, women will begin menopause, otherwise known as the “change of life”, which commonly comes with different symptoms, one being perimenopause spotting.  The first sign of entering menopause is having irregular or missed menstrual cycles but other things also begin to happen such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disruption, vaginal dryness, and a lot of confusion.

While menopause occurs normally, some women will start this process of life early due to hysterectomy or endometrial ablation.  Perimenopause is the time just prior to menopause beginning, which can be anywhere from two to five years.  Often, women will have symptoms, again such as perimenopause spotting that they never even connect to menopause until full menopause actually begins.

To confirm that menopause is actually starting, once a woman begins perimenopause spotting, she can have a blood test done, which checks for the presence of a certain hormone.  This hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH decreases with age so when levels are low, the doctor would be able to confirm that the woman is in fact starting her change of life.

Often, a woman will experience perimenopause spotting once or twice and then it will go away but as she gets closer to actual menopause, it may increase or her menstrual cycle would stop suddenly.  This process can take place as mentioned over a period of years or it could come on quite fast.  In both cases, even though women know what is coming, it always seems to be an unwanted surprise.

Typically, perimenopause spotting stars due to an imbalance of the hormone, which means that ovulation is also sporadic.  Because there is an interruption, women would have a difficult time becoming pregnant.  Although most women in their late 40s are past the years of wanting to have a baby, we have seen an increase in women in their mid to late 40s having children more in the past 10 years.  Therefore, a woman interested in having a child would need to be checked for FSH levels to determine if she is in fact having perimenopause spotting.

While perimenopause spotting is quite common, there are times when a woman should notify her doctor to rule out anything serious occurring.  These would include any of the following:

Of course, a woman that has any concern at all does not need to wait to contact her physician until she meets the above criteria.  The reason this is important is that some women going through menopause would be at greater risk of uterine cancer, such as those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity.  Therefore, any concern whatsoever should be discussed with the doctor and while chances are the body is simply going through its normal aging process, there is nothing wrong with being cautious.

If perimenopause spotting becomes a serious problem, the woman may need to be placed on progesterone to control bleeding or have surgery in the form of a partial or full hysterectomy.  If a partial hysterectomy is performed, the uterus would be removed but in the case of a full hysterectomy, the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries would all come out.  Women need to understand that perimenopause is normal and expected, not something to fear unless the problem turns serious, which is rare.




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