Perimenopause is the period leading up to menopause. During perimenopause, menstrual periods become less predictable—either more or less frequent than usual, and/or becoming heavier or lighter. Speak to your doctor if you experience bleeding between periods, or after intercourse, or very heavy bleeding.
Hot flashes, “vasomotor” symptoms, and other symptoms of menopause often appear in perimenopause. These symptoms, can start before the last menstrual period and may last for several years. On average menopausal symptoms will last about 7 years, but for up to 25% of women, symptoms may last into the sixties or longer.