7 Signs Perimenopause Is Ending: Final Stage Symptoms

Last updated 07.03.2024 | by Sabrina Johnson | 8 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


Does your perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) feel like an endless cycle that intends to stay with you forever?

Are you waiting for it to stop and menopause to hit? Trust me, I know how you’re feeling right now! 

But how do you know that your perimenopause years are coming to an end? 

On average, perimenopause can last between 4 to 8 years (some lucky ones experience it for a short period). It’s a time when your body is transitioning into menopause (the time when your periods take permanent vacation). [1]

It’s hard to determine when you actually enter perimenopause and when it’s ready to be over so the next stage begins. 
However, the symptoms can tell you a lot! The intensity and changes in perimenopause symptoms can help you understand if you’re near the end.

After thorough research and listening to the experiences of many menopausal women, I have gathered some relevant information. In this article, I will tell you the signs and symptoms that explain if you’re in the late transition phase and will be hitting menopause soon.

Today’s topic of discussion: Signs perimenopause is ending!

What is perimenopause?

Just like menstrual cycles, which almost every woman has to go through for years, perimenopause is also a phase that women will experience at some point in their life. 

Although, no one can deny that it is a time full of confusion, frustration, and pain. 

One minute, you’re sweating through your clothes in the middle of winter, the next, you’re bawling uncontrollably because of small everyday inconveniences.

Perimenopause is a stage that comes before menopause. It’s the transitional period leading up to menopause, which marks the end of your reproductive years. 

Every woman starts perimenopause at different ages; usually, it begins in the 40s, but many also experience it as early as the mid-30s [2].

This transition phase brings a plethora of symptoms, from hot flashes, night sweats to insomnia and vaginal dryness

Hormonal changes are the main reason behind all this chaos. During perimenopause, your ovaries gradually start to slow down their production of estrogen, the main female sex hormone. This decline isn’t a straight line down, though. Estrogen levels can fluctuate wildly, which is why some days you feel like your old self and on other days you feel like a stranger in your own body.

There’s no official “start and end date” on the calendar, and symptoms can vary significantly from woman to woman. Some might experience a few minor changes, while others get severe health issues. 

Personally, I noticed my periods becoming more irregular a few years before full-blown menopause hit. It was a subtle shift at first, but eventually, the gaps between periods became longer and longer until they finally stopped altogether.

But don’t freak out! Perimenopause isn’t a disease, and it eventually ends with the arrival of menopause, which usually happens when you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months. 

7 Signs Perimenopause Is Ending (Final Stage Symptoms)

Perimenopause can feel overwhelming with all the crying, hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods and sleepless nights. 

But there’s one positive thing to look forward to: Menopause! 

Studies say that a woman is nearing the end of perimenopause when her menstrual cycles are more than 60 days apart [3].

But the question still lingers: How do you know when your perimenopause is getting ready to leave you? 

Let’s talk about the signs that indicate perimenopause is in its last years. 

1. Less Frequent Periods 

During the final stages of perimenopause, your periods may become less frequent. It’s like your body is giving you a heads-up before saying final goodbye.

Your periods might show up every few months or even disappear for several months at a time. This is a good indicator that your ovaries are winding down estrogen production.

However, a single missed period doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in menopause. You officially enter menopause when you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months. 

This was one of the first signs my mom noticed. Her periods, which were always regular, started becoming more and more unsteady. By the time she reached menopause, the complete absence of periods didn’t feel so different.

2. Hot Flashes 

Hot flashes are a very common symptom of perimenopause. Almost every woman experiences this during their transition phase. It can continue to occur even when you hit menopause. 

In the last years of perimenopause, hot flashes either become less frequent or intensify, varying from person to person. 

There’s no definite answer to this. As I mentioned above, you may get relief from this symptom or might have to continue to deal with it.

This is what a woman shared when I asked about her experience with hot flashes during and after menopause:

“I still get the occasional hot flashes even now that I’m in menopause, but they’re nowhere near as frequent or severe as they were during the height of perimenopause. It’s like the difference between a full-blown volcanic eruption and a gentle simmer.”

3. Sleep Improvements 

Perimenopause can ruin your sleep schedule. Night sweats can leave you drenched and restless, while hormonal fluctuations can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep. 

But as you enter menopause and your estrogen levels stabilize, sleep quality often improves. So, in the last transition stage, it is highly possible that your sleep cycle will get better, and you’ll get a good night’s sleep every day. 

4. Energy Levels & Mood Swings 

During perimenopause, energy levels decline, and your mood swings get worse. 

But as you transition into menopause, your energy levels often start to rise again, and those mood swings become less frequent and intense. This is because your body is adjusting to the new hormonal changes.

I definitely noticed a difference in my mood around the time I entered menopause. The emotional rollercoaster I felt during perimenopause calmed down significantly. It’s not that I never have bad days, but the intense mood swings are a thing of the past.

5. Changes “Down There”

Vaginal dryness, thinning tissues, and discomfort during sex are all common complaints during perimenopause.

These symptoms can improve after menopause for some women, but for others, they may persist. This depends on a variety of factors, including your overall health.

It can be managed by consulting a doctor and exploring treatment options.

6. Reduced Breast Tenderness 

Breast tenderness and swelling are often experienced during perimenopause, but these changes may subside as you approach menopause.

7. Mental Clarity and Focus

Perimenopause can affect memory and concentration, leading to the dreaded “brain fog.” However, some women report improved cognitive function as they enter menopause.

New or Persistent Symptoms

While some symptoms ease up with the arrival of menopause, it’s important to note that new or persistent symptoms can also occur. These may include:

  • Joint Pain: Joint pain is a common complaint in women of all ages, but it can worsen during menopause due to hormonal changes.
  • Weight Gain: Menopause can lead to a shift in metabolism, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it.
  • Urinary Incontinence: Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles can contribute to urinary incontinence, which can become more noticeable during menopause.

FAQs

Is there a test to diagnose perimenopause?

There isn’t a single definitive test for perimenopause. Doctors generally diagnose it based on your symptoms, medical history, and a physical exam. Blood tests might be used to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, but they can’t diagnose perimenopause because it’s not a disease, it’s a natural phase.

Can perimenopause symptoms come back after menopause?

While most perimenopause symptoms lessen or disappear with menopause, it’s not uncommon to experience occasional hot flashes or vaginal dryness even after menopause. This can be due to fluctuating hormone levels or other factors like stress. Talk to your doctor if these symptoms become bothersome.

Are there natural ways to manage perimenopause symptoms?

Yes. Lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and getting enough sleep can significantly improve perimenopause symptoms. Some women also find relief with herbal supplements like black cohosh, but it’s important to discuss these with your doctor first to ensure they are safe and don’t interact with any medications you’re taking.

Conclusion

Remember, menopause is a natural transition, not a medical condition. 

Embrace this stage of life with knowledge and confidence. By understanding the signs and working with your doctor, you can navigate perimenopause and menopause smoothly and step into this exciting new phase of your life.

I hope this article was helpful and you learned how to recognize the signs to determine if your perimenopause is ending. 

Are you ready to take on whatever comes next?

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.

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