A question many women ask.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research to answer the question “How long does menopause last?” but we will do our best to clarify.
A new DNA test is being developed that can tell you when your menopause will happen, but there are still no tests showing how long menopause will last.
Psychological research shows that normalizing what is happening to your body and mind during perimenopause and menopause makes it easier to handle the problems you may face during that experience.
Knowing that you are not alone, that a billion women are going through the same thing at the same time as you, and that your experiences in menopause are normal makes a huge difference.
This knowledge will not make menopause shorter, but it can make it easier.
First, let’s define the stages of menopause.
This is a phase when you begin to see or feel the first changes to your menstrual cycle (period) and to your body. It can last anywhere from a few months to ten years. You need to be prepared and to know what can happen during this stage in your life.
Ask your close older female family members – mother, older sister, or aunt- about their menopause. There is a big chance your perimenopause will be similar to theirs. This, of course, is not guaranteed, but you may gather valuable information that can help you prepare for what is awaiting you.
Being armed with this knowledge is important as it will help you with the mental strength to tackle all the challenges before you. As they say, information is power.
We urge all women to get in the best shape they can, both physically and mentally. You will need all the strength of your body and mind to sail through this storm.
It happens twelve months from your last period. The scientific definition says that menopause is that one day, but the term menopause is generally used to describe the whole period you experience any of the many issues relevant to this phase in life.
Menopause, on average, lasts anywhere from 4 to 7 years. For most, this is the period when the symptoms are the worst.
The changes happening to you are not only physical but also psychological. This is the time to really ramp up self-care in order to deal with the challenges.
This is it! Postmenopause is the time when everything stabilizes. Your hormones do not fluctuate anymore; your mood swings become fewer, the brain fog lifts, and hot flashes are just a feeling that you are a bit hot, not the heat waves they used to be.
This phase lasts the rest of your life. It can be a wonderfully productive and creative time in life if you take good care of your body and mind.
When you look at it from an end-of-life perspective, aging isn’t fun. However, there are so many examples of women in their 60s,7 0s, 80s, 90s having great, exciting, and fun lives. Just look at Iris Apfel turning 100 and still running her business.
OK, But How Long Does Menopause Last?!
You can experience your first perimenopausal changes in your early 40s; for some women, even in their late 30s. The changes can be quite subtle in the beginning that many women don’t even realize what is going on until, one day, something feels really off.
It can be that your PMS’s are becoming really hard to manage. Maybe your menstrual cycle (period) started to become irregular. In fact, this is the first symptom that women who normally have very regular periods notice.
You start losing words and having trouble concentrating. Even your partner’s breathing or chewing starts to really get on your nerves! You don’t have the same amount of patience for your kids as you used to.
And…it all ends for most in their late 50s.
When Does it Start?
These changes do not hit you all in one day; it is a slow process. The issues you may experience intensify gradually over time. Many women can’t pinpoint the exact moment these changes start, and they can’t really remember when they subside.
Menopause goes away just like it started unhurried and almost unnoticed until one day you realize it is over.
A small percentage of women never stop experiencing hot flashes and even some of the other menopausal issues, but they are the exception, not the rule.
Many changes happen in this phase in life. There is a list of 50 associated symptoms! You are very unlikely to experience them all, and you may even be one of the few lucky women who never experience any of these symptoms.
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Night Sweats
- Weight Gain
- Irregular Periods
- Brain Fog
- Panic Attacks
- Vaginal Dryness
- Low Libido
- Heart Palpitations
- Pack Pain
- Hair Loss
- Breast Pain
- Brittle Nails
- Burning Tongue
- Change In Taste
- Cold Flashes
- Digestive issues
- Dry Mouth
- Dry Skin
- Electric Shocks
- Changing Body Odor
- Hot Feet
- Incensed Allergies
- Internal Buzzing
- Joint Pain
- Muscle pain
- Loss of Breast Fullness
- Muscle Tension
- UTIs More Often
- Waking Early
- Phantom Periods
- Unwanted Hair Growth
- Gum Problems
- Heightened Libido
We women have been so programmed to take care of others that we often forget to take good care of ourselves. No matter how long your menopause lasts (throughout its three phases), it is worth the time and energy you invest in finding out what works to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of menopause for your own unique body. You are worth it.
We know it is not easy but if the outcome is that you feel better and in control of your own life, the effort is rewarded.
Most people fear old age and illness, but maturity brings its own rewards. So, let’s make it a wonderful phase in life. Let’s LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH!