Menopause is a normal part of aging if it occurs after age 45. But some women can go through menopause early. For example, it can result from an operation, such as when their ovaries are removed during a hysterectomy, or when their ovaries are damaged, such as in Chemotherapy. If it occurs before age 45 for any reason, it is called premature menopause.
What Age Does Menopause Start?
The average age at which most women go through menopause is 51. However, symptoms start early in many women, with about 5 percent experiencing early menopause before age 45. Women with premature ovarian failure go through menopause before age 40, but the condition affects only 1% of the population.
Signs & Symptoms Of Menopause
Some of the most unusual symptoms of menopause include feeling like insects are crawling on your skin (pins and needles), metallic taste or burning in your mouth, body odor, electric shocks, tinnitus, gum disease, and even cold flushes. Women also reported changes in their spatial awareness and executive functions, such as concentration.
This is one of the few menopausal symptoms that scientists don’t fully understand. Still, we do know that many women suffer from it, especially as a precursor to hot flashes! This is thought to be due to the effects estrogen plays in our brains, causing messages from our nervous system to be misinterpreted and causing neurons to misfire.
The Physical Consequences
Menopause is a natural and normal part of the aging process. Once you go through menopause, you don’t have 12 months. Symptoms such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes are common. Be open and honest with your doctor about your symptoms and how they affect your quality of life. They can recommend treatments to manage your symptoms and make you more comfortable.
The hormonal changes associated with menopause can affect physical, emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Symptoms that occur during and after the menopausal transition vary from person to person. Some people have few or no symptoms. For others, symptoms can be severe, affecting daily activities and quality of life. Some people’s symptoms may last for years.
How Long Does It Lasts?
Menopause is when you go without a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. The period before menopause can last eight to ten years (perimenopause). The postmenopausal period (postmenopause) lasts until the end of life. In the United States, the median age of menopause is about 51 years.
The menopausal transition most commonly occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration may depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age at initiation, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones produced by the ovaries, fluctuates wildly.
The Cause Of Menopause
Altered levels of estrogen and progesterone (two female hormones produced in the ovaries) can lead to symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Menopause is a part of natural aging that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years.
Although many women attribute these symptoms to menopause, the timing can be random. In other words, it’s hard to know if the symptoms are due to a lack of estrogen in the body or the natural processes accompanying aging.
“About 70 percent of women experience some type of mental disorder during menopause,” says Dr. Rose, “But the good news is that these symptoms are more likely to go away as the body adjusts to the new hormone levels.” You can also do a lot for yourself and seek professional help.
In addition to the effects of hormonal changes, many women experience physical symptoms of menopause that can negatively affect their mood. For example, it’s hard to worry about sudden hot flashes, not getting the sleep you need, not enjoying sex to the same degree, or adjusting to your new weight.
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Dr. Scott is a doctor from Harvard Med School and a dermatology resident at the University of Miami. Laura is known for her authentic advice. Her goal is to find beauty in all things and to enjoy every moment of life...