Perimenopause means "around menopause" and is the time leading up to your last period. As your body transitions to menopause, your hormone levels may change randomly, causing menopause symptoms unexpectedly. During this transition, your ovaries make different amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone than usual.
The transition to menopause marks another period within a woman's life and is characterized by physical symptoms such as longer, shorter, lighter, or heavier periods, hot flashes, sleep disturbance, and vaginal changes. Most women also experience emotional symptoms such as mood instability, increased anxiety, depression and even cognitive (memory) symptoms. Sexual dysfunction such as low libido and painful intercourse are also very common.