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How long does the menopause last?

Menopause facts and figures

Many women often question how long the menopause can last. Two years? Five years? The answer can vary as some women can still experience menopausal symptoms after their periods have stopped. Here, our menopause expert Eileen Durward discusses the different menopausal phases and how long, on average, the menopause can last. 

Are you pre-menopausal?

Pre-menopausal means the time up to the beginning of the peri-menopause. The term pre-menopausal is also used to define the time up to the last menstrual period (which you don’t know is the last one until 12 months later), so it’s not very precise. If you like, it’s the run-up to the run-up to your last period, during which time you may start to get the first clues that your menopause is on the horizon.

Are you peri-menopausal?

The peri-menopause is the time around menopause during which menstrual cycle changes are occurring but a whole 12 months of amenorrhoea has not yet occurred. You may have stopped your periods, but you haven’t yet had 12 months of no-periods, so you can’t officially claim to be post-menopausal. During this time many combinations of symptoms are experienced by different women, although some may just stop their periods and experience nothing else – anything is possible!

Are you post-menopausal?

When you have your last menstrual period you officially become post-menopausal. Obviously, you don’t know it’s your last period until you’ve had a year of no periods. Even then, you may have another couple later on, but officially you can claim to be post-menopausal after 12 months of no periods.

How long will it last and when will it start?

How long you will spend in each of these phases is completely individual.

We can give you averages, such as, ‘Most women experience the majority of their symptoms over a 2-year period of time’, but that will just annoy those women who find themselves still up to the eyeballs in hot flushes after 5 years.

It’s just the same when giving averages for starting the menopausal process.

The average is around 52 years old, but many women start in their 40s and some not until their late 50s, so really you just have to see what happens for you.

Symptoms

The menopausal process per se is not an illness, but as hormone levels shift many symptoms can be experienced by the mid life woman, who already has quite enough on her plate.

The most common symptoms are linked to falling oestrogen levels.

Low oestrogen symptoms:

There can be other reasons for these symptoms though, so it’s always best to check with your doctor to get tests done.

A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays: Dryness during menopause

In this week’s A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays I take a look at why dryness is such a common symptom during the menopause, how it affects many areas of the body and what you can do to help yourself.

Missed one? Watch them all on my menopause blog.

 

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Real women stories

"I was breezing through my menopause"

I was breezing through my menopause, barely aware that anything was happening bar the fact that my... Read the full story

"During my menopause"

During my menopause, the worst symptom I have struggled with is the itchy skin. I could cope with the flushes... Read the full story

"Suffering from very heavy periods..."

After suffering from very heavy periods (confined to the house for two days each month), my GP gave me... Read the full story

"My periods stopped five years ago"

I stopped having my periods 5 years ago and felt I was able to cope without any replacement... Read the full story

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How I survived the menopause

What is happening to me? I know I asked this, so if you are asking it too, don’t worry, you are not alone! The menopause can be a daunting, confusing and scary time if you let it be, but as they say, knowledge is power.

I use my personal experience of going through the menopause (and surviving it) to offer support and guidance to help you have a happier, healthier menopause.

I survived the menopause and so can you!

Don't go through the Menopause alone!


Menopause expert Eileen Durward explains the benefits of joining the A.Vogel Menopause Health Hub.



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This week's talking point

HRT 'increases ovarian cancer risk' Well ladies, it's in the news again. According to a recent study, HRT has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women taking it for over 5 years.

Menopause Expert Eileen Durward looks at the medical facts behind the news headlines.

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Eileen Durward

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