Perimenopause | OB-GYN



We have expertise in perimenopause, the stage before menopause. We’ll provide treatment options for your symptoms and help you understand the process.

Medically reviewed by L. Elaine Waetjen, M.D. on Nov. 08, 2023.

Female provider smiling and shaking hands with woman sitting on an exam table

OB-GYNs Ready to Care for You

The nationally recognized providers at UC Davis Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN) provide the highest quality of care. They are experts in detecting the signs of perimenopause and offer effective treatments for any symptoms you experience.


What Is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the transition to menopause when you begin to skip periods. Your body stays in perimenopause until you stop menstruating for 12 consecutive months. At that point, you are in menopause.

Perimenopause begins between the ages of 40 and 45 for many women, although some begin earlier or later. The perimenopause phase may last 4 to 8 years or longer.

In perimenopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to change as your body prepares for menopause. You may or may not experience symptoms during this transition. 


Symptoms of Perimenopause

When you are in perimenopause, you may have very few symptoms. Or you may experience a range of changes in your body. You may have symptoms caused by hormone changes and/or the aging process. Some symptoms may last through menopause.

The most common perimenopause symptoms can include:


Causes of Perimenopause

For most women, perimenopause is a natural physical transition to menopause that begins in your 40s. However, this transition can start for some women due to a medical condition or procedure.


For most women, perimenopause begins between the ages of 40 and 45.

Autoimmune Disease

An autoimmune disease may cause you to experience perimenopause before age 40.

Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy

Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can cause perimenopause to begin early.


While having a hysterectomy stops your periods, surgery that removes your ovaries before menopause can trigger a transition to menopause. Hormone therapy after surgery can delay perimenopause.


Diagnosing Perimenopause

Because your hormones can fluctuate from one day to the next, there is no test that checks for perimenopause. Your provider may diagnose perimenopause after discussing:

  • Your medical history
  • Changes in your menstrual cycle
  • Your symptoms

Treatment for Perimenopause

Our providers have specialized training and expertise to treat symptoms of perimenopause. Your treatment plan will focus on helping relieve your specific symptoms.

Hormone Therapy

Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) restores your levels of estrogen and, for women who still have a uterus, progesterone. MHT can improve hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness and other symptoms of perimenopause.

Lifestyle Changes

Certain lifestyle changes can relieve many symptoms of perimenopause. Ease hot flashes by wearing layers of clothing that you can easily remove. Incorporate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to combat weight gain. Commit to a consistent exercise regimen that includes strength training. To improve sleep, practice good sleep habits, such as turning off electronics and avoiding late-night snacking. Use a personal lubricant to reduce vaginal dryness.


We may prescribe medicines like antidepressants to treat mood symptoms and to relieve hot flashes.

Mood Symptoms in Perimenopause

4 in 10Women have mood symptoms during perimenopause

Source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Mood Changes During Perimenopause Are Real. Here’s What to Know

Request an Appointment

As Sacramento's No. 1 hospital, you'll benefit from unique advantages in primary care and specialty care. This includes prevention, diagnosis and treatment options from experts in 150 specialties.

Referring Physicians

To refer a patient, you can submit an electronic referral form or call.



For questions and appointment information

Awards and Recognitions
USNWR Best Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best hospital in cancer, cardiology, heart & vascular surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, ENT, geriatrics, neurology & neurosurgery, obstetrics & gynecology, and pulmonology & lung surgery.

Learn more
US News & World Report best Children’s Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best children’s hospital in diabetes & endocrinology, nephrology, and orthopedics*. (*Together with Shriners Children’s)

Learn more
USNWR best regional hospital badge

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital by U.S. News, and high-performing in COPD, colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, hip fracture, hip replacement, kidney failure, leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma, lung cancer surgery, ovarian cancer surgery, pneumonia, prostate cancer surgery, stroke, TAVR, uterine cancer surgery, gastroenterology & GI surgery, and orthopedics.

Learn more
Magnet designation badge

The nation’s highest nursing honor

UC Davis Medical Center has received Magnet® recognition, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence.

Learn more
Chime acute badge

“Most Wired” for acute care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

Learn more
Chime ambulatory badge

“Most Wired” for ambulatory care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

Learn more
NCI badge

World-class cancer care

One of ~56 U.S. cancer centers designated “comprehensive” by the National Cancer Institute.

Learn more

A leader in health care equality

For the 11th consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality.”

Learn more
See more