Because it is pretty easy to read and talks about common symptoms and possible treatments to use in the years before a woman’s Last Menstrual Period.
Menopausal transition symptoms are highly prevalent; they are sufficiently bothersome to drive almost 90% of women to seek out their healthcare provider for advice on how to cope. The classic symptom during the transition is the hot flash, which is experienced by most women, and is moderately to severely problematic for about 1/3 of women. While most women will have an experience of hot flashes limited to just a year or two, others will experience them for a decade or more, and a small proportion of women will never be free of them.
Poor sleep becomes more common in perimenopausal women not only in association with the menopausal transition but also in relation to aging. Depressed mood and increased anxiety also increase during the transition, with an abrupt rise in prevalence as women approach the later stages of the menopausal transition and have longer gaps between periods. These common symptoms often interact with one another such that depressed women tend to experience worse hot flashes along with worse sleep.
As women enter the latter stages of the transition, vaginal dryness and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) also become more likely, affecting about 1/3 of the population. Unlike hot flashes, mood issues, and sleep, vaginal symptoms will not go away without treatment.
Clinical approaches to these problems often involve hormone therapy, which can be safely given to most perimenopausal women on a short-term basis. Therapeutic strategies that are non-hormonal and behavioral can also be used.
Santoro N. Perimenopause: From Research to Practice. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2016;25(4):332-339. doi:10.1089/jwh.2015.5556
Nanette Santoro MD is a leader in menopause research working out of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.
The Journal of Women’s Health, a credible and respected journal.