Misconceptions About Perimenopause
Menopause might be reserved for middle-age, but it’s natural to wonder whether or not you’ve already made some strides toward the transition. But how early can changes really begin? Is perimenopause something you need to think about now, and is there anything you should be doing about it?
Perimenopause is less definite than menopause and somewhat difficult to describe, which means it can be even more challenging to handle. In some cases, misinformation can lead to a lot of unnecessary discomfort, so it’s important to get on the right track, right away. Begin by breaking through these common misconceptions about perimenopause.
1. You Can't Get Pregnant During Perimenopause
When you begin perimenopause, you’ll notice your periods become more erratic — less frequent, more frequent, heavier, lighter, or just generally unpredictable. However, until you’ve officially stopped menstruating for good, you can still become pregnant.
Menopause is defined as 12 consecutive months without a period at all; if you’re still having a period now and then, your ovaries could still be releasing eggs, and you should continue to use contraception to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
ResourcesDaily Rx (Menopause Myths and Misconceptions)Healthful Elements (Easing into Menopause)Women to Women (The Top Ten Menopause Myths)Medscape (Meta-analysis Suggests That Smoking is Associated with an Increased Risk of Early Natural Menopause)More (Menopause: Puberty All Over Again?)
The different stages of menopause come with cycles of hormone changes. Learn about what hormones are affected and what you can do to cope.