Length of Menopause

Length of Menopause

The length of menopause can be difficult to predict. Believe it or not, this change in a woman’s life can last anywhere from a couple of months to several years. But if you’re in the early stages of menopause, or have recently begun to experience symptoms, it can seem like forever.

Somewhere between your mid-thirties and late fifties, you’ll begin to see the early signs of perimenopause. The length of your menstrual cycles may change and you may skip a period or two. It’s not uncommon for women to experience mood swings, hot flashes, and even a little anxiety at the onset.

As you begin to notice changes, consider tracking your menstrual cycles and making note of menopause symptoms. Journaling can help you recognize important patterns to discuss on your next doctor visit. The more detail you can provide, the more accurately your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat specific symptoms.

Once you’ve gone an entire year without a period, you’ll have transitioned from perimenopause to menopause. At that point, and as hormones level off, many women tend to feel better. You may still suffer through an occasional hot flash, but it’ll likely be less severe. Several lifestyle factors—including poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress, and smoking—can also impact the length of menopause.

Remember, every woman is different. Some experience intense symptoms, which can range from headaches to weight gain, over a number of years. Others breeze through menopause with little notice or change in their lifestyles. And while it’s important to lean on other women for support, understand that your journey is unique to you.

Ultimately, the best way to navigate through menopause is armed with knowledge and a positive attitude. Listen to your body, take care of yourself, and communicate openly with your doctor.