WHAT IS IT?
During perimenopause, some women notice an increase in aches and pains and joint stiffness. Aches and pains can be a minor annoyance or a source of major disability. They can be caused by muscle tension, overuse during physical activity, and injury from overuse. They can also be caused by specific conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia.
Some women have an increase in migraine headaches during perimenopause. Migraines typically decrease once you are postmenopausal. Let your health care provider know if you have new or increasing headaches.
Pain is considered chronic if it persists for more than 12 weeks.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MY BODY?
Since estrogen helps to decrease inflammation, as your levels decline it may take longer to heal inflammation and arthritis in your joints. Estrogen fluctuations affect the chance of migraines, too. Sleep disruptions may make pain feel worse, too. Some of your aches and pains may be due to aging.
WHAT TO EXPECT
One study of women found that the proportion of women reporting aches and pain is similar across the stages of reproduction. That suggests that aches and pains may not specifically be due to perimenopause.
You may have more chronic pain after menopause. This may be due to both body changes from menopause and other aspects of aging.
Treatments that are inappropriate or have not been studied for this symptom are not listed.
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Authors: Dr. Katherine Newton & Dr. Leslie Snyder. Last reviewed: April, 2021.