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Individuals with PCOS are 3x more likely to report poor or very poor health in their mid-40s.[1] In this article, we explore the link between PCOS and health and wellbeing during perimenopause, the time of transition between the reproductive years and menopause.[2]

PCOS is associated with elevated levels of androgens[3], sex hormones that are produced in the ovaries, start at puberty and play a key role in reproductive health.[4]  Find out more about PCOS and Androgen Excess.

These elevated androgens result in an array of potential symptoms and health complications in individuals with PCOS, including but not limited to:

  • Changes in appearance;

  • Menstrual symptoms;

  • Reproductive health complications;

  • Mental health complications;

  • Sexual health complications;

  • Metabolic health complications; and

  • Increased risk for certain types of cancer.

During perimenopause, individuals start producing lower levels of estrogen and progesterone,[5] chemical messengers or hormones responsible for regulating important processes across the reproductive, skeletal, cardiovascular and central nervous systems.[6] 

As a result of these hormonal changes, perimenopause shares a number of common symptoms with PCOS:[7]

  • Acne and skin problems;

  • Irregular or missed periods;

  • Headaches;

  • Infertility;

  • Mood changes;

  • Sleep difficulties;

  • Thinning hair on the head;

  • Unwanted hair growth; and

  • Weight gain.

The onset of perimenopause can therefore compound pre-existing health concerns of individuals with PCOS, although some report that the burden of the condition is reduced.[8]

As a result of these shared symptoms, PCOS can be very difficult to diagnose during perimenopause. 

Reviewed by Dr. K, one of Neuraura’s friends and trusted advisors.


Unpause is dedicated to unpausing menopause, empowering women to manage its challenging symptoms.  They believe menopause should never hinder a woman's ability to live to their fullest potential. With a focus on providing relief for symptoms like hot flashes, Unpause is building innovative technologies rooted in research and evidence. Their flagship product, COOLZEN, is a smart wearable that detects the onset of hot flashes and provides instant cooling to alleviate symptoms. 


Want to learn more about how PCOS across life stages?  Check out the sections on starting your period and menopause.

Life stage

PCOS and Perimenopause

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