By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Perimenopause is one of those medical terms that is somewhat new and certainly many women are not aware of the fact that it is a very real stage of life for many of them.

Perimenopause is the time prior to menopause. Certainly there are not all of the classic signs of menopause. But there are many of the changes in early form. For instance, many women complain that during perimenopause they have some memory problems. Maybe it is a missed appointment or forgetting to call someone back but women say that they definitely notice a memory issue.

Another problem is being more emotional and experiencing fatigue. One of the best ways of dealing with perimenopause is realizing that it is happening. For many women the understanding helps with dealing with it.