How Long Does Menopause Last – Are you stressed out with how menopause is affecting your life and you can’t wait for it to be over?
Or are you entering your 40s and would like to prepare for significant physical changes?
Before anything else, remember that menopause is a natural part of ageing. It’s not a disease or a condition, although some women may have more pronounced symptoms.
Understanding the different stages of menopause and symptom relief options can help reduce its impact on your daily life.
What is Menopause?
Menopause occurs 12 months after a woman’s last period. There are 34 symptoms of menopause. They are caused by a major decline in reproductive hormones which usually starts in your 40s. According to the National Health Service, the average menopausal age in the UK is 51.
The three stages of menopausal transition are:
Peri-menopause: This stage covers the years leading up to menopause and usually starts when a woman is in her 40s. During this time, reproductive hormone levels begin to drop. As a result, your menstrual cycles may become irregular. You may also start to experience symptoms that are more associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and low sex drive.
Peri-menopause is often confused with menopause because of the symptoms. But during this stage, women still get periods.
Menopause: It refers to the 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle.
But what if your period is just erratic?
The health practitioner will take different contexts into consideration, such as your age and symptoms. There are also tests that check the level of estrogen and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which are the major players in menstrual cycles.
Post-Menopause: It starts after 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle and lasts for the rest of a woman’s life. The symptoms subside during this stage and you’ll start to feel more comfortable. However, the significant decline in estrogen increases the risk of osteoporosis and health disease.
Women in the post-menopausal stage are encouraged to carry out lifestyle changes, such as increasing Vitamin D intake to 1,200mg per day.
Menopause Duration May Vary
If we’re going to take the technical definition of menopause, it lasts for 12 months. But if we’re going to discuss the entire menopausal transition, we’ll be talking about years.