How long does Menopause last?

By  , Expert Content
Jan 24, 2013

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A worried old womanMenopause is a change in phase of life which every woman has to go through. Many women dread the ‘M’ word but it won’t seem so bad if you know what to expect and how to deal with it. Read to know the stages of menopause and long menopause lasts.


[Read: Tips to Cope with the Emotional Impact of Menopause]


Stages of Menopause: There are three major stages of menopause—perimenopausal phase, menopause and postmenopausal phase. The three stages or the whole process of menopause usually takes about 15 years or longer, depending on your age and family history.

  • Perimenopause: This is the first stage of menopause. During this period menstruation becomes irregular and intermittent spotting can occur due to fluctuation of hormonal levels in your body. Although the menstrual cycle becomes irregular you can still get pregnant. During perimenopause the ovum (eggs) are released irregularly but they are mature and with the capacity to get fertilized. The period of perimenopause usually lasts 2 to 5 years, but some women can remain in this stage of change for up to 15 years. Changes or fluctuation of hormone levels in your body can cause some menopause symptoms such as mood changes, irritability, hot flushes, and night sweats.
  • Menopause: This is the second stage of menopause and the periods (menstruation) completely stop by the time your reach this stage. Menopause usually occurs by 50 years in most women but it can occur at a younger age (as early as 35) or later (as late as 60). You are considered to be in this stage if your period have been absent for at least 12 consecutive months. The levels of estrogen and progesterone gradually decline and your body will stop secreting it all together. Due to changes in hormonal levels you are likely to have symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches, night sweats and mood swings.
  • Postmenopause: This is the last stage of menopause. The symptoms of menopause start to decrease during this time, as your body gets used to the low levels of female hormones. Gradually you become free of hot flushes, headaches, night sweats and mood swings. But after this the new set of problem start –increased risk of developing osteoporosis, heart disease, and urinary tract infections.


[Read: How to Help your Wife through Menopause]


Living with Menopause: Many women dread menopause and feel anxious, worried and even scared about going through menopause. However it is important to realise that this a natural phase in the life of every woman, but it is not bad if you accept it well and learn to deal with the changes smartly. Many women consider menopause as a happy and exciting time in their lives as you no longer will have to worry about  becoming pregnant and menstruating too. Learning about menopause and its acceptance can make it a wonderful and enjoyable stage in your life.


Read more articles on Menopause.

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