Did you know that there are three very defined phases of menopause which all together can last for years? I certainly didn’t.
When most women talk about going through the menopause or ‘the change’, they’re actually describing the first phase, the perimenopause – the phase in which all the ‘games’ begin. The menopause itself is the second phase, and phase three is well, the rest of your life.
- PERIMENOPAUSE – The time leading up to menopause when a woman stops menstruating because of a loss of functioning of her ovaries. Usually lasts 2-7 years
- MENOPAUSE – The event of menopause is a single point in time when you go a year without menstrual bleeding.
- POST-MENOPAUSE – The time after the last menstrual period that lasts the rest of a woman’s life.
The typical length of the whole transition is five and a half years. You may be one of a relatively small number of women who hardly notices any changes … this is my hope and ambition … For some women, the symptoms of perimenopause can last as long as 15 years.
Many women will start to experience hormonal changes from around 40, but some may notice subtle changes from their mid-30s onwards. The average age for a woman to have menopause is 51.
So there you have it, Menopause 101.