Many women assume that there are three major hormonal milestones: that first menstrual period, pregnancy, and then menopause.
But there’s actually an intermediate step between making babies and closing the fertility window: perimenopause.
Perimenopause begins much earlier than many women realize — around age 35. In a nutshell, this decade-or-so-long journey is the slow process of the pituitary producing increasingly more FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone, over time until the abundance of the hormone signals the ovaries to permanently stop ovulation. Think of this as a kind of reverse puberty.
Perimenopause can have an impact on how you look and feel in ways that you don’t expect to deal with until much later, and the effects are all the more startling the less you have supported your hormones and your health up to this point.
Perimenopause can be when some women realize they just can’t put off taking better care of their bodies anymore. If you’re not healthy, your body will let you know now!