When Does Menopause Occur?

The average age women go through the menopause in the UK is 51 years old; however, symptoms can begin a long time before the last period and this is known as perimenopause. Most women start to experience symptoms of perimenopause during their late 40's and have their last period, the menopause, around the age of 50 years old. If you have your final period before the age of 40, this is classed as premature menopause; early menopause relates to menopause between 40 and 45 years old. If you don't have your last period until after 55 years old, this is defined as late menopause.

Although menopause occurs around the age of 51, there is a great deal of variation when it comes to when symptoms begin and how long they last. Some women can experience symptoms of perimenopause for up to 8 years, while others may only have symptoms for 1-2 years. The menopause is defined by the period of time you have not had periods for; in women under the age of 50, this period is 24 months and in women aged over 50, the period is 12 months.

There are various factors, which may determine when you experience menopause; perhaps the most important indicator is the age your mother went through menopause. Although it is not definite that you will be the same age, in most cases, it will be similar. As well as genetics, lifestyle factors, such as whether you smoke, also play a part in determining the age you experience menopause.

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