What is Menopause?

And what is Perimenopause?

Defining Perimenopause

Menopause is defined as 12 months without a menstrual cycle. Perimenopause is the transition that occurs leading up to menopause, commonly lasting about 4-8 years. It can be difficult for some women to know if they’re in perimenopause.

Common symptoms of perimenopause include:

  • Vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats)
  • Mood changes
  • Heightened PMS
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular cycles

As a woman enters perimenopause her cycle length often begins to change. A 7-day change in regular cycle length (either shorter or longer) for 2 or more cycles may confirm perimenopause. Ovulation also becomes very inconsistent and won’t occur every cycle.

There are often changes in the volume of blood lost during periods as well, either heavier or lighter. This can also vary from cycle to cycle.

While it can be a confusing and frustrating time, tracking your cycles can help you and your doctor make (some) sense of what’s going on in your body.

Tracking your cycles during perimenopause

  1. Track cycle length. Note day 1 of each cycle. This is the first day of full bleeding.
  2. Try to track ovulation. This occurs about 2 weeks before your period and is often noted by thin, stretchy “eggwhite” cervical fluid. If you track basal body temperature, an increase in temperature will occur within 24 hours after ovulation.
  3. Track any PMS symptoms like breast tenderness, moodiness, bloating, or migraines.

Then bring this information to your appointment so that you can review this with your doctor and together come up with the best plan for testing and treatment. There are many effective options to support you through this transition, so you don’t have to suffer alone.

To learn more about how Dr. Naylor supports her patients through menstrual cycle issues, perimenopause, and menopause, please call our office at (760)385-8683 to schedule a free 15-minute discovery call. This allows you to discuss the possible root causes of your symptoms and make sure we’re a good fit to work together.


About Dr. Miranda Naylor

Dr. Naylor is passionate about partnering with her patients to identify the root causes of symptoms and restore optimal health. She treats the whole person — addressing not only physical, but also emotional, spiritual, energetic, environmental, and community factors. She believes in supporting the body’s innate healing capacity by nourishing each individual’s needs and removing barriers such as toxins, infections, chronic stress, and structural imbalances. She blends evidence-based science with traditional wisdom to customize a treatment plan for each patient, including nutrition, lifestyle, and nutraceutical supplementation. She specializes in women’s health, fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood, as well as graceful transition into menopause.


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