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How Long Does Menopause Last From Start To Finish

Fresh Or Frozen Embryos

When Does Menopause Start and How Long Does It Last?

This may depend on timing or on the clinical situation you find yourself in. There are two different options here: frozen embryo transfer or fresh embryo transfer. While fresh embryo transfer is still more common, we are seeing an increasing number of embryos frozen for a month or longer before being transferred.

In a fresh embryo transfer, the best quality embryo , which had been developing in the lab over the last few days is transferred into the womb through the cervix in a simple procedure. This can be very effective, but if the hormonal balance or the condition of the lining of the womb is in question, the clinic may elect to delay transfer until a later cycle, where they will do their best to ensure appropriate development and receptivity of the lining of the uterus.

A frozen embryo transfer is also preferred in patients with a higher risk of over stimulation, or the complication called Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome . It is a fact that symptoms of OHSS may worsen if the patient becomes pregnant during a treatment cycle. Patients at risk of OHSS will often be scheduled for a frozen Embryo Transfer to allow the ovaries and the lining of the uterus to recover from stimulation and return to normal.

The Big Question: How Long Does Menopause Last

We all know whatmenopause is right, ladies? It is that time some women look forward to, whileothers approach it with a great deal of fear and dread. Menopause isnt a quickprocess either. It is likely that some women will be having to deal with thesymptoms for a reasonable period of time. Here, we want to answer the bigquestion how long does menopause last?.

Will I Ever Feel Normal Again

Look, heres the thing about life: Its constantly changing. So, really, what do we mean exactly when we ask if we will feel normal again? Normal can mean a lot of things. It was normal to throw tantrums as a toddler. It was normal to have acne, self-doubt, and social insecurities as a teenager.

But, none of us would call those experiences normal as an adult. Normal is where we are now. So, yes, you will feel normal again. But, it will be a new normal. A normal that does not include menstrual cycles anymore. A normal that does not have PMS, or bloating, or menstrual cramps, etc. Which, by the way, is pretty darn great!

But, its a normal that will also include aging. Its a normal that will include changes in your body that were not there when you were in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s. So while you wont be contending with menstrual cycles and all that that suggests. You WILL contend with issues related to low estrogen, for example. Like perhaps continued hot flashes and night sweats, insomnia, and vaginal dryness.

Less of a sex drive is also common for women post-menopause. This may or may not pose a problem for you per se, depending on your life circumstances. But, it is a reality for many women. Myself included. However, as a divorced woman with no intentions of ever marrying again, this is not a problem in my life.

Also Check: What Causes Hot Flashes Besides Menopause

How Long Do The Stages Of Menopause Last

  • Perimenopause: The first phase of the process is perimenopause. Estrogen levels begin to decrease somewhat during this time, and this causes monthly cycles to become irregular. In addition, estrogen levels tend to fluctuate during this period of time, which means that menopause-like symptoms will also fluctuate.
  • Perimenopause typically lasts for four to six years, but it can last as long as 12 years for some women. In most cases, the onset occurs between ages 35-45. However, it can occur earlier or later in a minority of women. While they do remain potentially fertile during this time, it becomes far more difficult to conceive. Hot flashes, fatigue, chills, and other symptoms associated with menopause begin to emerge during this stage.

  • Menopause: After a year goes by with no monthly cycles, menopause has occurred. This is when the most intense symptoms appear. Typically, they will increase during the first year after the start of menopause, and then theyll decrease gradually over a period of several years. It typically occurs between ages 45 and 55, but it can be earlier or later for some women. Occasionally, it occurs in the early 60s. Rarely, it can occur as early as ones 20s or 30s, but this is quite uncommon.
  • General Recommendations For Ht

    How Long Does Menopause Last?

    Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:

    • HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
    • HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
    • Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
    • Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a woman’s specific health profile.
    • HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.

    Initiating Therapy

    Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:

    • Heart disease
    • Osteoporosis
    • Breast cancer

    While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.

    Discontinuing Therapy

    Safety Concerns

    Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:

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    Home Remedies: Vitamin E Black Cohosh And Herbs

    Vitamin E

    Some women report that vitamin Esupplements can provide relief from mild hot flashes, but scientific studies are lacking to prove the effectiveness of vitamin E in relieving symptoms of menopause. Taking a dosage greater than 400 international units of vitamin E may not be safe, since some studies have suggested that greater dosages may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk.

    Black Cohosh

    Black cohosh is an herbal preparation promoted for the relief of hot flashes. Clinical trials show that black cohosh is actually no more effective than placebo in controlling hot flashes.

    Other alternative therapies for menopause symptoms

    There are many supplements and substances that have been advertised as “natural” treatments for symptoms of menopause, including licorice, dong Quai, chaste berry, and wild yam. Scientific studies have not proven the safety or effectiveness of these products.

    Healthy Diet And Menopause

    Suggestions for maintaining good health through diet at the time of menopause include:

    • Choose a wide variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole grains and small portions of lean meat, fish or chicken.
    • Increase fluids and eat low-fat dairy foods with high calcium content.

    Read Also: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause

    When Does Menopause Start

    Though menopause is defined as starting one year after the end of a person last period, they may begin experiencing symptoms earlier.

    According to the North American Menopause Society, the average age for a woman to reach menopause in the United States is 51 years. However, this age range varies. Menopause may happen early when a woman is in her forties or later when she is in her late 50s.

    The onset of menopause can also follow surgery that reduces ovarian function or hormones, such as a hysterectomy, where a surgeon removes the uterus, or surgery or other treatments for cancer. In these circumstances, symptoms may begin rapidly as an adverse effect of these procedures.

    What Happens After Menopause

    Menopause – When Does It Start, How Long Does It Last?

    After menopause you will no longer be able to get pregnant and you will no longer get a period. If you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal bleeding after menopause is not normal and can mean that you have a serious health problem.

    You may experience any of the following after menopause:

    • Low hormone levels. With menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Because of changing hormone levels, you may develop certain health risks, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and stroke.
    • Menopause symptoms instead of period problems. After menopause, most women get relief from period problems or menopause symptoms. However, you may still experience symptoms such as hot flashes because of changing estrogen levels. One recent study found that hot flashes can continue for up to 14 years after menopause.6,7
    • Vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness may be more common post-menopause. Learn more about treatments for vaginal dryness.

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    Perimenopause Is A Transition Menopause Is The Other Side

    Just as we transitioned from puberty into young adulthood and young adulthood into mature adult, perimenopause is a transition as well. It is a transition from the first part of our life into the second part of our life. The first part of our life includes menstrual cycles, fertility, and for many of us, giving birth and raising families. The second part includes reaching middle age and beyond, the loss of menstrual cycles, fertility, and our families moving out of our lives and beginning their own.

    The new normal of menopause is actually pretty grand. Yes, you will contend with the reality of aging and health challenges you didnt have before. But like every other stage of life you adjust and adapt. I can no longer run a 7 minute mile. But, I can sure walk at a fast clip.

    I am mindful of the fact that I do not have the speed and agility I had when I was a 21 year old. But, I have incredible stamina and the wisdom to understand when I need to pace myself. Because I am 60, I am also mindful of the fact that my years left on this earth are not as long as they were when I was 20. So, I push myself to not fret or fritter over petty trifles of life as I often did as a young person.

    I no longer become bogged down in foolish and unfruitful dramas of certain relationships, and I am much more able to push through emotional changes which in the past would have engulfed me for days, weeks, or perhaps even months.

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause

    Estrogen is used by many parts of a womanâs body. As levels of estrogen decrease, you could have various symptoms. Many women experience mild symptoms that can be treated by lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine or carrying a portable fan. Some women donât require any treatment at all, but for others, symptoms can be more severe. The severity of symptoms varies greatly around the world and by race and ethnicity.

    Here are the most common changes you might notice at midlife. Some may be part of aging rather than directly related to menopause.

    Change in your period. This might be what you notice first. Your periods may no longer be regular. They may be shorter or last longer. You might bleed more or less than usual. These are all normal changes, but to make sure there isnât a problem, see your doctor if:

    • Your periods happen very close together.
    • You have heavy bleeding.
    • Your periods last more than a week.
    • Your periods resume after no bleeding for more than a year.

    Bladder control. A loss of bladder control is called incontinence. You may have a sudden urge to urinate, or urine may leak during exercise, sneezing, or laughing. The first step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor. Bladder infections also can occur in midlife.

    Also Check: What Helps With Dizziness During Menopause

    What Is Perimenopause

    Women often present menopausal symptoms before they stop menstruating and before they are officially in menopause. Weight gain, slowing metabolism, mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, and other symptoms can often occur during the transition phase leading up to natural menopause, called perimenopause. Experiencing menopausal symptoms in this stage is a good indication that you are approaching natural menopause and though this can be an uncertain and stressful transition there are all natural menopause supplements that can help improve your health and reduce symptom severity during peri-menopause.On average, perimenopause begins when women reach their early to mid-40s . However, hormonal changes can begin as early as 35 or the late 30s in many women, and those symptoms can increase in frequency and severity as they progress through perimenopause. During perimenopause, you will still menstruate and experience ovulation, but you may notice that your periods are becoming more irregular. This may make it more difficult for you to identify your typical menstrual cycle pattern. You should always have a record of your last period and its symptoms if you are still menstruating. Documenting your last period can also help you determine how close you are to the menopause stage. Using a women’s health tracker app for menopause can is a great way to journal your symptoms and share with your doctor.

    How Long Do Menopause

    How Long Does Menopause Last

    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.

    Two common menopause-related symptoms are hot flashes and vaginal dryness. These two symptoms occur as a result of the loss of estrogen in the body, normally produced by a woman’s ovaries.

    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

    Also Check: Menopause Dizziness Treatment

    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 Peri

    For some women the peri-menopause will last about three years from start to finish, even though you might have been in it a little while before you actually click whats going on. So, for some women, the peri-menopause is actually harder to deal with than the actual menopause itself, because very often once your periods stop for good, then things seem to balance out a little bit more. The problem with the point where your period stop for good is that you dont know theyve stopped for good until youve had at least one to two years without a period.

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    Egg Fertilisation And Embryo Development

    The collected eggs will be mixed with either your partners or donor sperm in a lab. After 16-20 hours they check to see if they are fertilised. In some cases, these eggs will require a single sperm to be injected into each egg, a process called ICSI . The eggs should then be fertilised and become embryos which may develop in the lab for up to 6 days before being transferred. Some clinics may transfer the embryo after 3 days of development, others may continue to the blastocyst stage .

    How Long Does The Menstrual Cycle Take From Start To Finish

    How Long Does Menopause Last?

    Also, a womans menstrual cycle length might be different from month-to-month. Your periods are still regular if they usually come every 24 to 38 days. This means that the time from the first day of your last period up to the start of your next period is at least 24 days but not more than 38 days.

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    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.

    How Do I Stay Healthy After Menopause

    It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially as you age and your risk for certain medical conditions increases. Some ways for people in postmenopause to stay healthy include:

    • Exercising regularly. Walking, doing yoga or strength training can help lower your risk for many medical conditions.
    • Weight-bearing exercises can strengthen your bones and muscles.
    • Eating a healthy diet. Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains should make up the bulk of your diet. Avoid lots of salt or sugar and limit your consumption of alcohol.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Going through menopause can be uncomfortable and present new challenges and health concerns. Speak with your healthcare provider about any symptoms you feel or questions you have. They can help make sure you are supported through this time and get the care you need.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.

    References

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