How Long Does Menopause Last?

How long will menopause last? I understand that it differs for each person. I’d just like to know the average.

You will be “in menopause” for the rest of your life, but menopause actually refers to a day that comes when you have not had your period in 12 months. It follows a period of hormonal fluctuation, which eventually results in a sharp decline in ovarian production of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.

When you ask how long menopause lasts, you are probably confusing menopause with the symptoms of menopause, which is quite a common misconception.

It is actually in the time before menopause (known as perimenopause) that most women have the well-known symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, irregular periods, headaches and more.

Many women do not have any significant symptoms of menopause. When symptoms are present, they can vary widely, as you mentioned.

Severe symptoms rarely last more than a couple of years; a few months is more typical. Some of the milder symptoms of perimenopause may begin as early as six to 10 years prior to menopause, which means early to mid-40s for most women.

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