Symptoms of Menopause

As you get closer to menopause your ovaries produce less of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Without these hormones, your periods become more erratic and eventually stop.

Once you’ve been without a period for 12 months, you’re officially in menopause. The average age when women go into menopause is 51. The physical changes that indicate that you are moving towards menopause can begin as early as age 40, or may not start until your late 50s.

You may experience the following symptoms in these age groups: (The following information has been taken from

40 to 45

Early menopause can occur naturally. Or, it may be triggered by surgery to remove your ovaries, cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, or autoimmune diseases.

Signs you’re in early menopause include:

  • missing more than three periods in a row
  • heavier or lighter than usual periods
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight gain
  • hot flashes
  • vaginal dryness

45 to 50

Many women enter the perimenopausal phase in their late 40s. Perimenopause means “around menopause.” At this stage, your oestrogen and progesterone production slows, and you begin to make the transition into menopause.

Perimenopause can last for 8 to 10 years. You’ll likely still get a period during this time, but your menstrual cycles will become more erratic.

Symptoms of perimenopause are due to rising and falling estrogen levels in your body. You can experience:

  • hot flashes
  • mood swings
  • night sweats
  • vaginal dryness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • vaginal dryness
  • changes in sex drive
  • trouble concentrating
  • hair loss
  • fast heart rate
  • urinary problems

It’s harder to get pregnant during perimenopause, but not impossible. If you don’t want to conceive, continue to use protection during this time.

 50 to 55

During your early 50s, you may be either in menopause, or making the final transition into this phase. At this point, your ovaries are no longer releasing eggs or making much estrogen.

The change from perimenopause to menopause can take one to three years. Symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and sleeping difficulties are common during this time. If you experience these symptoms, talk to your doctor about hormone therapy and other treatments to relieve them.

55 to 60

By age 55, most women have gone through menopause. Once a full year has passed since your last period, you’re officially in the postmenopausal phase.

You may still have some of the same symptoms you experienced during perimenopause and menopause, including:

  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • mood changes
  • vaginal dryness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • irritability and other mood changes
  • urinary problems

In the postmenopausal stage, your risk for heart disease and osteoporosis increases.

A small percentage of women are late going into menopause. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

If you’ve already been through menopause, it doesn’t always mean you’re done with its symptoms. An estimated 40 percent of women ages 60 to 65 still get hot flashes.

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