During perimenopause, a woman may experience irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms. These symptoms can be severe and can last for several years. Some women may also experience mood swings, sleep disturbances, and difficulty concentrating. As the ovaries produce less estrogen, the vaginal walls become thinner and less elastic, leading to vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse.
During menopause, a woman’s hormone levels have dropped significantly, and her periods have stopped permanently. The symptoms of perimenopause may continue, but they typically become less severe. Some women may experience an improvement in symptoms, while others may continue to experience them.
Postmenopause is the stage following menopause, during which a woman is no longer experiencing the symptoms associated with menopause. However, women in postmenopause are at an increased risk for certain health problems, such as osteoporosis and heart disease.