Irregular periods are common during perimenopause, according to WebMD; however, if spotting happens between periods or after sex, a physician should be consulted because there is possibly another cause. Alternative explanations include hormone problems, birth control pills, pregnancy, fibroids, blood clotting problems and, infrequently, cancer.
Some common symptoms of perimenopause, such as sore breasts, vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex, urine leakage and increased need to urinate, affect specific body areas, WebMD explains. Other signs impact the whole body. These include hot flashes, worsening premenstrual syndrome, reduced sex drive, fatigue, mood swings and sleep problems. On average, perimenopause begins when women are in their 40s and lasts four years. When a woman has not had a period for a year, perimenopause is over.