In the major phases of change around the age of fifty, it is often difficult for a woman to assess precisely, her hormonal status, the production of hormones from these periods being particularly subject to variations.
ARTICLE MAY 2019
For many people, the evolution of the hormonal status of women, with this passage from a period of genital activity which lasts a few decades, to a progressive modification of the cycles, then to a permanent disappearance of menstruation, is expressed by the terms premenopause and menopause.
These qualifiers speak to everyone, and yet are imprecise and do not fully reflect a certain reality.
Let’s go back to physiology:
The woman notes a change in the regularity of her cycles, corresponding to a sudden drop in progesterone.
Then the menstruaation stop.
For a large number of women, menstruation will no longer appear at all. Menopause is not yet fully established, however.
In others, after a first year without menstruation, slight twitches signs of a a weak hormonal activity, starting to be perceived more clearly, may still appear for a few months.
If the term menopause literally means the end of the menstruation, modern physiological approaches bring more subtleties. The World Health Organization (WHO) has therefore broadened the vocabulary by adding another name, even if the latter is not yet integrated by our contemporaries.
So if we classically speak of:
Premenopause, then menopause
It makes more sense to follow WHO’s proposal.
For this institution, perimenopause is “the period before menopause, when clinical and / or biological signs of menopause appear and continue for a year beyond the end of menstruation”.
Perimenopause therefore includes premenopause and one or two years after menstruation stops.
Then the menopause follows.
Following an interview with Doctor OVIEDO-MASSET, gynecologist in St Mandé.