How Long Does A Woman Go Through Menopause
The entire process of menopause typically lasts between 7 and 11 years, though it may be more or less for some.
Disclaimer:The views expressed in this article intend to inform and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Pandia Health, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
Do You Have Early Or Late Menopause
Figuring out if youre going through the transition early or late can help you gain a better understanding of how long menopause will last. If you start having irregular periods in your mid-40s, you may be experiencing early or premature menopause.
Heavy bleeding, spotting, a period after a year of no periods, or periods that are noticeably longer or shorter than normal can all signal early menopause, especially in combination with other common menopausal symptoms.
If you are 55 or older and still havent noticed menopause symptoms, your doctor may diagnose you with late-onset menopause.
Late menopause may actually have some health benefits, while early menopause could potentially cause problems. During menopause, the production of estrogen and progesterone by the ovaries declines. In early-onset menopause, this cessation may cause problems such as osteoporosis. The longer your ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, the longer you can avoid osteoporosis.
If youre still having periods in your late 50s and 60s, see your doctor. Each womans reproductive system is different, so dont be alarmed until youve spoken to a doctor.
How Does Birth Control Affect Perimenopause Symptoms
Hormonal birth control can help prevent pregnancy and eliminate period symptoms. Similarly, using birth control during perimenopause can help alleviate unpleasant symptoms and even decrease the likelihood of negative health conditions. For instance, the process of menopause may lead to osteoporosis and other bone-related issues, and implementing birth control can help reduce this risk. Additionally, because birth control regulates hormone levels, it can further minimize some of the effects associated with perimenopause such as hot flashes, acne, and vaginal dryness.
It is important to note, however, that hormonal contraceptives can mask perimenopause symptoms. Furthermore, those who take birth control may not recognize when they have reached the perimenopause stage. For this reason, it is crucial to communicate with a doctor in order to better understand what is going on in your body.
When Do Menopause Symptoms Start
The symptoms usually associated with menopause are actually a byproduct of the perimenopausal stage, or the years leading up to menopause. This is when estrogen and progesterone levels begin to erratically fluctuate as ovarian reproductive functions come to a halt.
Perimenopause usually starts in a woman’s mid-40s, although some women can enter it as young as their early 30s or even as late as their 50s .
As such, a woman is considered to have reached menopause when she has been period-free for 12 consecutive months, and the average age for menopause in the United States is 51.
How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About
Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause . But other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes.
- Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots.
- Your periods last several days longer than usual.
- You spot or bleed after your period.
- You experience spotting after sex.
- Your periods occur closer together.
Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include hormonal imbalances, hormonal treatments, pregnancy, fibroids, blood-clotting problems or, rarely, cancer.
Also Check: What Antidepressant Is Best For Menopause
How Long Do Symptoms Last
Perimenopausal symptoms can last four years on average. The symptoms associated with this phase will gradually ease during menopause and postmenopause. Women whove gone an entire year without a period are considered postmenopausal.
Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are a common symptom of perimenopause. One study found that moderate to severe hot flashes could continue past perimenopause and last for a
Researchers also found that Black women and women of average weight experience hot flashes for a longer period than white women and women who are considered overweight.
Its possible for a woman to experience menopause before the age of 55. Early menopause occurs in women who go through menopause before theyre 45 years old. Its considered premature menopause if youre menopausal and are 40 years old or younger.
Early or premature menopause can happen for many reasons. Some women can go through early or premature menopause because of surgical intervention, like a hysterectomy. It can also happen if the ovaries are damaged by chemotherapy or other conditions and treatments.
How To Test For Menopause
The reduction in the levels of hormones that results from menopause often leads to a common misconception around testing. You might think that doctors can do a quick test of your hormone levels to find out if youre going through menopause or not. However, womens hormone levels are falling and rising constantly. Because of this, physicians may order multiple hormonal blood tests for menopause at different times during your cycle to get an overall assessment of your hormonal balance.
Don’t Miss: Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Menopause
Will Menopause Begin Right After Shortly After Or What Is The Time Frame To Expect
For women who have hysterectomy surgery that involves the removal of ovaries, they may begin experiencing menopause symptoms after 24hours following their operation.
The abrupt inducement of menopause often results in exaggerated symptoms such as hot flashes and changes in libido.
Another possible outcome is that ovarian failure may occur much earlier than the anticipated time frame of menopause, around 1 to 2 yrs after the hysterectomy surgery. In such cases, a person may or may not experience the immediate symptoms of menopause.
Can Menopause Cause Facial Hair Growth
Yes, increased facial hair growth can be a change related to menopause. The hormonal change your body goes through during menopause can result in several physical changes to your body, including more facial hair than you may have had in the past. If facial hair becomes a problem for you, waxing or using other hair removers may be options. Talk to your healthcare provider about your options to make sure you dont pick a product that could harm your skin.
Also Check: Can You Have Night Sweats After Menopause
When Do Menopause Symptoms Stop
Midlife discomforts can plague women’s lives for years, leaving them wondering exactly how long can menopause symptoms last before finding any relief. Luckily, symptoms do not usually last a lifetime, and reprieve isn’t too far out of reach.
Continue reading to learn about how long menopause symptoms last and treatment options so that you can have a better knowledge of your reproductive health and better quality of life.
Are There Treatments For The Menopause
If your symptoms are severe, theres treatment available which could help. This includes hormone replacement therapy , which replaces oestrogen to alleviate symptoms, creams for vaginal dryness, and cognitive behaviour therapy to help with mood changes. Speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits of different treatments.
Also Check: Why Do Your Breasts Get Bigger During Menopause
Why Does Menopause Happen
Natural menopause menopause that happens in your early 50s and is not caused by surgery or another medical condition is a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding to artificially stop As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of a hormone called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop. Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause are all part of your bodys adjustment to these changes.
Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms
Your GP can offer treatments and suggest lifestyle changes if you have severe menopausal symptoms that interfere with your day-to-day life.
- hormone replacement therapy tablets, skin patches, gels and implants that relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen
- vaginal oestrogen creams, lubricants or moisturisers for vaginal dryness
- cognitive behavioural therapy a type of talking therapy that can help with low mood and anxiety
- eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit and strong can improve some menopausal symptoms
Your GP may refer you to a menopause specialist if your symptoms do not improve after trying treatment or if you’re unable to take HRT.
Read Also: What Is The Typical Age For Menopause
Are Women Who Arent Experiencing Menopausal Symptoms Still Fertile
No matter when you experience natural menopause, your chances of getting pregnant after the age of 40 are low, says Faubion. But you can still become pregnant as youre transitioning to menopause, and you still need to use birth control if you don’t want to conceive, she adds.
Streicher confirms, saying, Fertility and menopause are not the same thing; there are plenty of women who are pumping out estrogen and menstruating and are not fertile. If youre sexually active, its important to consult with your doctor before making any decisions about birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
On the other hand, dont assume that just because you are still menstruating that you can get pregnant. Women who are concerned that they may have trouble conceiving or think they may experience menopause early and still want children should discuss options such as egg freezing with their doctor, says Streicher.
Sleep Problems And Mood Swings
Try these options to avoid sleep problems:
- Avoid large meals, smoking, coffee, or caffeine after noon.
- Avoid napping during the day.
- Avoid exercise or alcohol close to bedtime.
- Drink warm milk or warm caffeine-free tea before bed.
- Sleep in a dark, quiet, and cool room.
- Treat hot flashes to improve sleep.
Easing stress, eating right, and staying physically active can help with mood swings and sleeping problems. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help with mood swings.
You should talk to your doctor about managing your symptoms and to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms, like depression or asthma. Its also helpful to join a support group for women in menopause so you have a safe place to share your concerns and issues.
Your doctor may also prescribe menopausal hormone therapy to help treat your symptoms. MHT can ease:
- hot flashes
Studies show that women who take MHT are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. The risks are similar for women using contraceptive pills, patches, and rings. However, women taking MHT are older, and the risks increase with age.
Many women cant take MHT because of a previous illness such as cancer or because they take other medications.
Additional research found that the risk of getting breast cancer can increase with five or more years of continuous MHT use .
Women who have had their uterus removed will use estrogen-only therapy.
Read Also: Does Menopause Make You Feel Crazy
How Long Do Menopause Symptoms Last
Menopause symptoms are reported to last for an average of 7.4 years with some women experiencing them for only a few months or for over a decade.
In general, women suffer from menopause symptoms up to a few years into postmenopause. However, this depends on the individual as some women report experiencing hot flashes well into their 70s and 80s.
Having said that, all postmenopausal women are at an increased risk of developing other serious health complications, such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and they should have their hormone levels monitored for a proper treatment plan.
When Does Menopause Start And How Long Does Menopause Last
Menopause is a word that describes our entire transition. Its acceptable to use the word, but whats more important is to know what goes on during this time.
I see menopause like going on a long road trip, you need to have a map and an itinerary to know where youre heading. And thats what were going to do here, familiarize menopauses map!
- Vaginal dryness, low libido, dry skin, nails and eyes and heart palpitations are symptoms common in the menopause stage.
Don’t Miss: How To Control Menopause Mood Swings
How Long Do Menopause
Even though menopause marks a point in time in which a woman has not menstruated for 12 months and is no longer ovulating , the symptoms of menopause may persist.
Most women stop having hot flashes within five years following their final menstrual period. However, a report on the management of menstrual symptoms notes that the Penn Ovarian Aging Study found that more than one-third of women continued to have moderate to severe hot flashes for 10 years or more. Women who began having hot flashes as they entered perimenopause had them longer, for an average of 11.6 years. African-American women had a longer duration than white women.
Vaginal dryness, burning, and itchiness also occurs as a result of estrogen deficiency. The difference with this symptom is that it tends to get worse as women get older. In fact, only between one quarter and one third of women in perimenopause or early postmenopause experience vaginal dryness. But as women reach late postmenopause, about half report vaginal dryness.
There are other symptoms that may begin during perimenopause and persist throughout postmenopause. These include:
- Sleep problems
- Cognitive changes such as memory loss
- Muscle and joint pains
What Is Menopause Again
Menopause is a normal part of aging, and its actually a point in time 12 months after a womans last period, according to the National Institute on Aging . During the years leading up to that point, a woman may have changes in her monthly cycle, hot flashes, and other symptoms. This is called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
During perimenopause, the number of eggs in a womans ovaries start to dwindle down to a precious few, says Jonathan Schaffir, M.D., an ob/gyn from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Since ovulation, or the release of the egg, triggers periods, once the eggs dwindle, menstruation spaces out and then stops completely.
During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone vary, the NIA explains. A womans bones become less dense, and her body starts using energy differently. Fat cells also change and women may find that they gain weight more easily than they did before.
While menopause typically happens naturally as a woman ages, it can also happen if a woman has her ovaries surgically removed, says Arianna Sholes-Douglas, M.D., author of The Menopause Myth: What Your Mother, Doctor, And Friends Havent Told You About Life After 35, and the founder of Tula Wellness Center in Tucson, Ariz. Symptoms can also occur even if a woman has her uterus removed but leaves her ovaries intact, she adds.
Read Also: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause
Are There Treatments That Can Ease The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
Many women get relief from hot flashes after taking low-dose birth control pills for a short time. Other options that may control hot flashes include the birth control skin patch, vaginal ring, and progesterone injections. Certain women should not use birth control hormones, so talk to your doctor to see if they are right for you.
You may also feel better if you do things that enhance your general well-being, such as:
- Stop smoking.
- Get more sleep and try going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.
- Drink less alcohol.
- Get to a healthy weight and stay there.
- Get enough calcium in your diet.
- Ask your doctor if you should take a multivitamin.
Talk to your doctor if you are having problems with your sex drive. They may be able to recommend a counselor or therapist to help you and your partner work through this problem. Vaginal lubricants may also be recommended, if vaginal dryness is a problem.
Talk to your doctor about your specific symptoms and goals of treatment. This will help them make a plan that is right for you.
How Can I Tell If Ive Reached Menopause
The average age of menopause is around 51 years old. Once an individual with a uterus has gone 12 months without a period, they have reached menopause. However, this may be difficult to track if the individual is taking hormonal birth control. Some may choose to stop birth control once they start to notice symptoms of perimenopause for this reason, but this does not have to be the case for all individuals. If one does choose to stop taking birth control, they should use another form of contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Also Check: What Is The Male Version Of Menopause
Are There Any Tests For Menopause
The most accurate way to tell if it’s happening to you is to watch your menstrual cycles for 12 months in a row. It helps to keep track of your periods and chart them as they become irregular. Menopause has happened when you have not had any period for an entire 12 months.
Your doctor can check your blood for follicle stimulating hormone . The levels will jump as your ovaries begin to shut down. As your estrogen levels fall, youâll notice hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and less lubrication during sex.
The tissue in and around your vagina will thin as estrogen drops, too. The only way to check for this is through a Pap-like smear, but itâs rarely done. As this happens, you might have urinary incontinence, painful sex, a low sex drive, and vaginal itching.
How Long Does Perimenopause Last And Will I Ever Feel Normal Again
May 29, 2017 by Magnolia
These are two of the most asked questions here at The Perimenopause Blog. And it never ceases to amaze me how many women ask them. Which tells me that though we are all different, we are also alike in so many ways.
Every now and then a reader will tell me that she didnt have many perimenopause symptoms and hardly even noticed that it happened. I am always amazed that someone can go through perimenopause and say that. Because from where I sit? Those women are in the tiniest minority. The rest of us, roughly 80% feel like weve been on the hormone ride from hell and want to know where to get off!
Also Check: How Do You Know When You Finish Menopause
How Can I Treat The Symptoms
There are a bunch of ways.
Lifestyle changes. A healthy diet and regular exercise program will help manage your symptoms and boost your health. This is a great time to finally kick any old, unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking too much alcohol. To help with hot flashes, dress lightly and in layers. Avoid triggers like caffeine and spicy foods. And if you stay sexually active, that may help preserve your vaginal lining.
Prescription medication for hot flashes. If you still have your uterus, your doctor might prescribe treatment with estrogen and progesterone. This is called combination hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy . It helps with hot flashes and night sweats, and it may help prevent osteoporosis. If you donât have a uterus, you might get estrogen alone.
Hormone therapy isnât for everyone. Donât take it if you’ve ever had breast cancer, uterine or “endometrial” cancer, blood clots, liver disease, or a stroke. Also don’t take it if you might be pregnant or you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
If you can’t or don’t want to take hormones, other medications can ease symptoms. They include antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, or blood pressure medications to help with hot flashes and mood swings.
Prescription and OTC medication for vaginal dryness and sleep problems. You can try topical estrogen, lubricants, and non-estrogen prescriptions for dryness and painful sex. OTC or prescription sleep aids can help if you have trouble falling asleep.
How Long Will Menopausal Transition Symptoms Last
Menopause is technically one full year without bleeding, and perimenopause is the stage before the final menstrual period, also known as the menopausal transition. Puberty and perimenopause are similar in that they both involve hormonal changes, and the transitions can take place over several years. Some medical organizations, such as the American Osteopathic Association, refer to perimenopause as reverse puberty in women.
According to NAMS, this phase can last four to eight years, and it comes with symptoms caused by hormone fluctuations, such as mood swings, poor sleep, and hot flashes.
The age at which a woman begins perimenopause can help predict how long the transition to menopause will last, according to research published in the journal Menopause in February 2017. The authors found that perimenopause lasted longer in women who started the transition at a younger age, and the women had more symptoms, such as hot flashes.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Weight Gain In Menopause
What Are Hot Flashes
Hot flashes can be a pretty unpleasant symptom of perimenopause and menopause. We dont totally understand the cause of hot flashes.
Most people describe a hot flash as a sudden hot feeling that spreads all over your body but mostly the upper body, like your arms, chest, and face. You may also get sweaty, and your fingers may tingle and your heart may beat faster. A typical hot flash usually lasts anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes.
Hot flashes at night are called night sweats. Sometimes they can get so severe that you soak your sheets with sweat.
Hot flashes are super common. More than 3 out of 4 people have them while going through perimenopause and menopause.
Nothing will make hot flashes stop completely, but there are some things you can do to help get some relief. Wearing light, loose clothes, keeping your room cool, drinking cold liquids, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help you stay cool.
Prescription hot flash treatments can be helpful, too. Hormone therapy works best to treat hot flashes, but other medicines like SSRIs and SNRIs and clonidine may also help. Research shows that herbs, vitamins, acupuncture, and reflexology dont help with hot flashes.
Peri Meno & Post: When Does The Change Happen
Your hormones can begin decreasing in your 30s and may continue well into your 40s and 50s. This is called perimenopause or the transition to menopause for most women.
The average age of menopause for US women is 51. Most women reach this milestone somewhere between ages 45 and 55.
Once your period has stopped for 12 months, you are considered in menopause and enter the postmenopause stage of life.
Also Check: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause