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  • Premenopause, or perimenopause, is a naturally-occurring time period when a woman's body begins the changes associated with menopause. Doctors use several treatments to address the discomfort of various premenopausal symptoms.

    The Facts

    The Mayo Clinic cites symptoms of perimenopause that may include mood changes, menstrual irregularities, hot flashes, bone loss, vaginal dryness, urinary infections, decreased fertility, changes in sexual arousal and increases in harmful LDL cholesterol.

    Low-Dose Contraceptives

    Doctors can treat many of the symptoms of perimenopause through the use of low-dose oral contraceptives. The American Academy of Family Physicians cites potential benefits of this treatment that include reduction of hot flashes and vaginal dryness, prevention of bone loss, avoidance of ovarian or uterine cancer and regulation of menstrual flow.

    Progestin Treatments

    According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors may also regulate menstrual cycles in perimenopausal women with the hormone progestin, which is available as part of an intrauterine device (IUD) placed inside the uterus.

    Endometrial Ablation

    Women who experience heavy bleeding during perimenopause may gain relief from endometrial ablation, a technique that destroys the uterine lining and stops or diminishes menstrual flow.

    Considerations

    Certain women should not take low-dose contraceptives, including those who smoke, or have a history of heart disease, deep blood clots or breast cancer.

    Source:

    Perimenopause

    Perimenopausal Women and the Use of Very-Low-Dose Birth Control Pills

    More Information:

    Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: Perimenopause: Changes, Treatment, Staying Healthy

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