What is the normal age for menopause?

The average age of menopause in the United States is approximately 51 years old. However, the transition to menopause usually begins in your mid-40s.

Why does menopause happen?

When menopause happens on its own (natural menopause), it’s a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding to stop such as hormonal birth control, radiation therapy or surgical removal of your ovaries.

As you age, your reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, your ovaries make less of a hormone called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle (period) starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop.

Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause (perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause) are all part of your body’s adjustment to these changes.

What hormonal changes happen during menopause?

The traditional changes we think of as “menopause” happen when your ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. Your ovaries are the reproductive glands that store and release eggs. They also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Together, estrogen and progesterone control menstruation. Estrogen also influences how your body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in your blood.

As menopause nears, your ovaries no longer release eggs, and you’ll have your last menstrual cycle.

How do I know if I’m in menopause?

You’ll know you’ve reached menopause when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause. Vaginal bleeding after menopause could be a sign of a more serious health issue.

What are the signs of menopause?

You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over your body).
  • Night sweats and/or cold flashes.
  • Vaginal dryness that causes discomfort during sex.
  • Urinary urgency (a pressing need to pee more frequently).
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
  • Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings or mild depression).
  • Dry skin, dry eyes or dry mouth.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Irregular periods or periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.
  • Some people might also experience:
    • Racing heart.
    • Headaches.
    • Joint and muscle aches and pains.
    • Changes in libido (sex drive).
    • Difficulty concentrating or memory lapses (often temporary).
    • Weight gain.
    • Hair loss or thinning.

Changes in your hormone levels cause these symptoms. Some people may have intense symptoms of menopause, while others have mild symptoms. Not everyone will have the same symptoms as they transition to menopause.

Contact a healthcare provider if you’re unsure if your symptoms are related to menopause or another health condition.


Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21841-menopause#:~:text=Your%20body%20goes%20through%20a,at%20play%20during%20this%20time.