Average Age is 51
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average age for a woman to experience menopause is 51, but it can happen several years earlier or later. Most commonly, women experience menopause in their 40s or 50s.
It’s a Point in Time
A common misconception is that menopause is a process, but actually, it is a point in time. It is marked when a woman has not experienced a period for 12 months. Perimenopause, or the menopausal transition, is the time leading up to menopause. Be sure to tell your doctor if you haven’t had a period in a while, or experience irregularities.
The most common symptoms of menopause are vaginal dryness and hot flashes. These symptoms may come and go, but most women experience them to some degree. Other symptoms include:
- Irregular periods
- Night sweats
- Sleep problems
- Mood changes
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Loss of breast fullness
There are a few conditions that may cause a woman to experience early menopause. Surgical removal of both ovaries, an oophorectomy, causes immediate menopause. Removal of the uterus, a hysterectomy, may sometimes cause menopause to occur earlier than average. Cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be factors. Some women have primary ovarian insufficiency, which causes menopause before age 40.
It’s a Part of Every Woman’s Life
Menopause may not happen at the same time or in the same way for every woman, but those aren’t reasons to fret. Just be aware of the common symptoms and any changes in menstruation, and your doctor will be there to guide you.
For more information about menopause, talk to your gynecologist at your next appointment! You can schedule an appointment at any of our three Cincinnati OB/GYN locations by calling today.