“Your menstrual cycle changes during perimenopause.
Your periods may become irregular, heavier, lighter,
shorter or longer”.1

Umbrella
What may the Periods Pattern Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Menopause and Periods
  • Perimenopause Periods
  • Periods Pattern

First Sign of Menopause

What is usually the first sign of menopause?

In Menopause: Symptoms – Common Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause: Changes To Your Periods the (United Kingdom) NHS explain:

“The first sign of the perimenopause is usually, but not always, a change in the normal pattern of your periods, for example they become irregular”.2

Perimenopause Menstrual Cycle Changes

What are some menstrual cycle changes during perimenopause?

In Perimenopause: What Happens At Perimenopause? the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) elaborate on:

“Your menstrual cycle changes during perimenopause. Your periods may become irregular, heavier, lighter, shorter or longer. Some months your period may not come at all. You may not ovulate every month or you could ovulate twice in a cycle”.3

Look for A PatternPeriods Pattern

How may I Look for A Pattern with my periods?

The (United States) Mayo Clinic explain:

“To find out what’s typical for you, start keeping a record of your menstrual cycle on a calendar. Begin by tracking your start date every month for several months in a row to identify the regularity of your periods”.4

In Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal, What’s Not – How Can I Track My Menstrual Cycle? the Mayo Clinic also elaborate on:

“If you’re concerned about your periods, then also make note of the following every month:

  • End date…
  • Flow…
  • Bleeding changes…
  • Pain…
  • Other changes…”.5

Menstrual Calendar

Where may I find a menstrual calendar to keep a record of my periods?

In MenoNotes the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) include:

Pregnant or Not

Is it possible to become pregnant when skipping periods?

Yes. In Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms the Mayo Clinic explain:

“Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and then start monthly cycles again for a few months. Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles, so they are closer together. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you’ve skipped a period but aren’t sure you’ve started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test”.6

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help to look for a pattern with my periods?

If you would like help to look for a pattern with your periods, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about your record. Together you can identify any patterns, discuss your options and if required, agree on who may be the most appropriate health care provider to help you.

In Perimenopause: How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms or Something To Be Concerned About? the Cleveland Clinic elaborate on:

“Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause, but other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a healthcare provider to rule out other causes.

  • Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots
  • Your periods last several days longer than usual
  • You spot or bleed after your period
  • You experience spotting after sex
  • Your periods occur closer together”.7

In About the Menstrual Cycle: When To See Your Doctor the JH also note:

“There are many reasons you might need to see your doctor about your periods, including:

  • Changes in the pattern of your periods
  • Increasingly heavy periods
  • Long periods of more than eight days
  • Periods that come fewer than three weeks apart
  • Periods coming more than two to three months apart
  • Painful periods that cause you to stay home
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after intercourse

Your menstrual cycle is a normal process for your body. Each woman experiences her menstrual cycle differently, most without any difficulties. If there is any change in your cycle that worries you, see your doctor”.8

Health Topics A-Z

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Menopause: Symptoms – Common Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause: Changes To Your Periods. Page Last Reviewed: 17 May 2022. NHS  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 12 November 2023
  2. Perimenopause: What Happens At Perimenopause? Updated: May 2023. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/resources/perimenopause Accessed: 12 November 2023
  3. Perimenopause: What Happens At Perimenopause? Updated: May 2023. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/resources/perimenopause Accessed: 12 November 2023
  4. Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal, What’s Not – How Can I Track My Menstrual Cycle? 22 April 2023. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186 Accessed: 12 November 2023
  5. Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal, What’s Not – How Can I Track My Menstrual Cycle? 22 April 2023. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186 Accessed: 12 November 2023
  6. Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms. 25 May 2023. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 Accessed: 12 November 2023
  7. Perimenopause: How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms or Something To Be Concerned About? Last Reviewed: 05 October 2021. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21608-perimenopause Accessed: 12 November 2023
  8. About the Menstrual Cycle: When To See Your Doctor. Last Updated: 26 August 2023 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/about-the-menstrual-cycle Accessed: 12 November 2023
Topic Last Updated: 12 November 2023 – Topic Last Reviewed: 12 November 2023

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