The earliest stage is called, “Perimenopause.” Perimenopause means “around menopause” and is the span of 7-10 years before menopause. Menopause is defined as not having a period for 12 months. So if you are still having your period (it may be very different than it was before), and are about 40 years old, you are likely in perimenopause.

Many women don’t know there is an early stage of menopause, and that there are ways to reduce their symptoms and improve long term health. Women in perimenopause can benefit from estrogen (and often progesterone too) that can come in pill, skin patch, or cream forms. Hormone replacement therapy remains the most effective treatment option for relieving perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms and can make the transition into menopause easier while preventing long term health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and brittle bones (osteoporosis).

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