There is no perimenopause test. The transition to menopause is gradual, and it can be hard to tell whether perimenopause has started. You can determine whether you have started perimenopause by talking with your doctor about perimenopausal symptoms, such as irregular periods, hot flashes, or trouble sleeping.
If you are younger than 40 and your period has stopped, your doctor may test hormone levels in your blood. However, hormone levels change unpredictably during perimenopause for most women. For this reason, a blood test cannot diagnose where you are in this menopausal transition.
No treatment is needed for perimenopause symptoms unless they are bothersome. NewYork-Presbyterian’s experts in women’s health provide perimenopause medication and non-drug approaches, such as nutrition and lifestyle changes, for patients who need treatment. Talk to your doctor before taking herbal or vitamin supplements.
Perimenopause treatment can include hormonal or non-hormonal options:
- Prescription medicines for other health conditions can also help relieve hot flashes
- Low-dose birth control pills or hormone therapy
- Prescription cream or gel for vaginal dryness
- Medicine, medical devices, physical therapy, or surgery for urinary problems
- Hormone therapy
Your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits of all perimenopause treatment options with you.
Lifestyle considerations for perimenopause
Following basic guidelines for a healthy lifestyle is the first step toward reducing the symptoms of perimenopause:
- Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, high-fiber grains and breads, beans, and lean protein, including fish
- Keep bones strong with calcium and vitamin D from either low-fat milk and other dairy products or supplements (ask your doctor for a recommended dose)
- Exercise regularly (being active can help you sleep better and reduce anxiety)
- Get enough sleep at night (avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help)
- Limit stress
- Don’t smoke
- Minimize alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight
Get Perimenopause Relief from NewYork-Presbyterian
NewYork-Presbyterian’s women’s health specialists provide comprehensive medical care for every life stage, including perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause affects everyone differently. It’s important to receive care from an experienced gynecologist committed to understanding and improving your symptoms and protecting you against the health risks of perimenopause, menopause, and the aging process.