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What Age Does Menopause Start And Stop

Symptoms Of The Menopause

What Age Does Menopause Start?

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.

Common symptoms include:

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.

What Is Hormone Therapy

During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.

There are two main types of hormone therapy:

  • Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
  • Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.

Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Vaginal dryness.

General Recommendations For Ht

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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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.

Home Remedies: Vitamin E Black Cohosh And Herbs

What Age Does Menopause Start And End

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

What Is Premature Menopause

What age does menopause start?

Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered “natural” and is a normal part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention or damage to the ovaries . Menopause that occurs before the age of 45, regardless of the cause, is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause.

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What Affects The Age You Start Menopause

Certain factors may affect when you begin menopause. Your family history, medical conditions, and hormones all play a role in when menopause is likely to occur for you.

Smoking may influence the age of menopause onset. Studies have found that smoking during the reproductive years was significantly associated with earlier menopause.

How Long Does The Menopause Last

Symptoms of the menopause can start months or even years before periods stop completely. They usually continue for around 4 years after your last period, though some womens symptoms continue for much longer.

The menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but its very difficult to predict when it will take place in an individual.

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Are There Any Other Emotional Changes That Can Happen During Menopause

Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including:

  • A loss of energy and insomnia.
  • A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
  • Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
  • Headaches.
  • Aggressiveness and irritability.

All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause. You have probably experienced some of them throughout your life. Managing emotional changes during menopause can be difficult, but it is possible. Your healthcare provider may be able to prescribe a medication to help you . It may also help to just know that there is a name to the feeling you are experiencing. Support groups and counseling are useful tools when dealing with these emotional changes during menopause.

What You Can Do To Stay Healthy Postmenopause

What is a menopause ?

Its never been more important to take a proactive role in your health care. Many women suffer unnecessarily from symptoms that can be managed with prescribed treatments or home remedies. Talk to your doctor before you begin taking any new supplement or treatment, including over-the-counter and herbal remedies.

Aside from hormone therapy some of the most common postmenopausal treatments include:

  • Hormone therapy: Helps reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and may prevent bone loss.
  • Vaginal estrogen: Relieves vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex, and some urinary symptoms.
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements or other osteoporosis treatments: Aids in strengthening bones.
  • Vaginal lubricants: Increases comfort during sex.
  • Incontinence treatments: Various lifestyle changes and medical options for gaining bladder control.
  • Exercise: Stimulates heart and bone health and maintains healthy weight.
  • Diet: Helps manage healthy weight.

Postmenopausal health is about a lot more than your ovaries and uterus. Keep up with annual physical exams and schedule those regular preventive screenings, such as mammogram, bone density screening, Pap smear, mole checks, and colonoscopy. Remember your teeth and gums and your eyes, too. Theres never been a better time to focus on your own well-being.

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Emotional Impact Of Early Or Premature Menopause

Premature menopause can be emotionally devastating. Some of the common issues women may face include:

  • grief at the prospect of not having children
  • fear of ‘growing old before their time’
  • concern that their partner wont find them sexually attractive anymore
  • self-esteem problems.

Psychological counselling and support groups may help women come to terms with their experience of early or premature menopause.

What Causes The Menopause

The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones, which occurs as you get older.

It happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.

Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases there’s no clear cause.

Sometimes it’s caused by a treatment such as surgery to remove the ovaries , some breast cancer treatments, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or it can be brought on by an underlying condition, such as Down’s syndrome or Addison’s disease.

Page last reviewed: 29 August 2018 Next review due: 29 August 2021

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What Age Does The Menopause Start And How Long Does It Last

Not to sound dramatic but chances are menopause has or will impact you or someone you care for.

Menopause is when someone with a vagina stops having periods and is therefore something that a significant portion of the population will have to deal with sooner or later.

With that in mind, and to celebrate World Menopause Day, nows as good a time as any to learn when menopause usually begins and how long it typically lasts for.

Do All Menopausal Women Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire

At What Age Does Menopause Begin?

Not all women experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many women, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.

However, it is still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections . You can get an STI at any time in your life.

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At What Age Does A Woman Typically Reach Menopause

The average age of menopause is 51 years old. However, there is no way to predict when an individual woman will have menopause or begin having symptoms suggestive of menopause. The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is also not related to the age of menopause onset. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as earlier as ages 30s or 40s, or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s. As a rough “rule of thumb,” women tend to undergo menopause at an age similar to that of their mothers.

Symptoms and signs related to the menopausal transition such as irregularities in the menstrual cycle, can begin up to 10 years prior to the last menstrual period.

What Is Perimenopause

Perimenopause occurs during the 40s for most women, but some notice changes as early as their mid-30s. As estrogen hormones rise and fall, periods grow longer or shorter and women experience menopause-like symptoms. Perimenopause is a natural part of the aging process, although some medications, cancer treatments and ovary surgery can speed up the process or cause menopause sooner.

“Your ovaries are shutting down, but the process takes some time. That process is called perimenopause,” explains Kourtney Morris, MD, a Franciscan Physician Network Obstetrics & Gynecology in Lafayette, Indiana. “For some women, perimenopause is barely noticeable, but for others, the symptoms make them miserable.”

Perimenopause lasts for four years on average but sometimes only a few months. In the last one or two years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen speeds up, and women experience menopause symptoms while still having a period.

Dr. Morris discusses this stage of life and how to deal with uncomfortable perimenopausal symptoms.

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What Are The Stages

The process happens slowly over three stages:

Perimenopause. Your cycles will become irregular, but they havenât stopped. Most women hit this stage around age 47. Even though you might notice symptoms like hot flashes, you can still get pregnant.

Menopause. This is when youâll have your final menstrual period. You wonât know for sure itâs happened until youâve gone a year without one. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms are common in this stage.

Postmenopause. This begins when you hit the year mark from your final period. Once that happens, youâll be referred to as postmenopausal for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that after more than 1 year of no menstrual periods due to menopause, vaginal bleeding isn’t normal, so tell your doctor if you have any ASAP.

The Timing Of The Age At Which Natural Menopause Occurs

Menopause Signs and Symptoms

The age at the final menstrual period holds intrinsic clinical and public health interest because the age at which natural menopause occurs may be a marker of aging and health. Later age at natural menopause has been associated with:

  • longer overall survival and greater life expectancy and reduced all-cause mortality

  • reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and mortality from cardiovascular and ischemic heart disease, stroke, angina after myocardial infarction, and atherosclerosis

  • less loss of bone density, and a reduced risk of osteoporosis and fracture

  • but an increased risk of breast,, endometrial, and ovarian, cancers.

Although menopause is a universal phenomenon among women, the timing of the onset and the duration of the menopausal transition and the timing of the final menstrual period are not. Most of our knowledge and perceptions of menopause have been based largely on studies of white women, and many have been studies of clinic-based, rather than population-based, samples of women. Thus, until recently, much of the knowledge about the timing of the natural final menstrual period has been affected by the nature of the samples of women studied and a number of other methodologic differences in the studies of this phenomenon, which must be considered in comparing and summarizing their results.

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Predicting Natural Menopause: Why Does Age Matter

If theres not a lot that women can do to change when theyll experience menopause, why does predicting it even matter?

It would be helpful for every woman to know exactly when menopause will arrive. Beyond recognizing and addressing issues such as increased cardiovascular disease risk and risks related to bone health, if a woman knows her age of menopause and how long the perimenopause transition will last, it could help her make important health decisions, says Faubion.

If youre bleeding like crazy it would be helpful to know, she says.

As of now, research hasnt uncovered a way to determine when a women will go into menopause, but having that information could be useful in making decisions such as whether to have a hysterectomy or other invasive procedures, says Faubion. If menopause is going to be a few months or a year from now, you may choose to wait it out if it’s going to be five years from now, you might want to go ahead and have an invasive procedure, she says.

The ability to predict when menopause will occur could also help with managing menopause symptoms or deciding which type of birth control to use, adds Faubion.

Understand Your Bodys Changes At Menopause

It is important to understand the changes your body is going through before, during and after menopause. There are many different sources of information available. Make sure you seek out reputable websites and brochures that provide up-to-date, non-biased information from organisations that specialise in womens health.

Some examples include:

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