Perimenopause is the transitionary period between fertility and menopause, which is marked by a 12-month absence of menstruation. During this time, the most difficult symptoms include hot flashes, trouble with sleep, brain fog, mood swings and depression, reduced sexual desire and decreased natural vaginal lubrication.

The changes can be gradual, usually beginning when someone is in their 40s or 50s but sometimes as early as the mid-30s, with irregular periods and developing symptoms. Many people turn to hormonal treatments to diminish the worst effects of hormone fluctuations and manage symptoms.

Birth control pills with estrogen are a standard prescription to prevent pregnancies that can still occur during perimenopause, as well as alleviate some symptoms caused by fluctuating hormones, such as:

  • Regulating menstrual cycles
  • Reducing bleed intensity and risk