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When Does Menopause Start? A Comprehensive Guide for Women

Do you have symptoms you can't explain?

Menopause itself is the point where you've gone 12 consecutive months without a period, typically occurring between 45-55 years.

But here's what they don't tell you: the journey begins much earlier.

While most of us associate menopause with our later years, symptoms can sneak up as early as your mid-30s.

Are you experiencing unusual symptoms and wondering if they're signs of this transition?

  • irregular periods

  • hot flashes

  • sleep issues

  • mood changes

  • Vaginal and bladder problems

  • changes in bone density and cholesterol levels

You may be experiencing the onset of perimenopause, the precursor to menopause. These symptoms can start up to 8 years before menopause!

Did you know that with chronic low estrogen, we face more serious health consequences than hot flashes and mood swings?

We face osteoporosis, a risk of memory loss and cognitive changes, an increased risk of heart disease, and various forms of cancer.

Empower yourself with this guide! Breeze through menopause with clarity and confidence.

Stages of menopause and age of menopause


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Reflecting on my menopause experience and those of my clients in the LifeBloom program, I realize the power of shared stories. Menopause, a natural phase in a woman's life, often comes shrouded in mystery.

Let's break the silence.

In this guide, we'll delve into the heart of menopause, understanding its onset, duration, and impact. Let's demystify this natural phase, empowering ourselves with knowledge and a sense of community.

Ultimate free LifeBloom Menopause Guide

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a significant life transition.

Simply put, it marks the end of menstrual cycles. Menopause officially starts when we've gone 12 consecutive months without a period. But it's more than just the end of periods; it's a complex biological process influenced by hormonal changes. Estrogen and progesterone, the hormones regulating menstruation, fluctuate and eventually decrease.

While menopause is a universal experience for women, it's also profoundly individual.

Like our unique life stories, each woman's journey through menopause is distinct.

A client of mine, Sarah, once said, “Menopause snuck up on me like a thief in the night.” Her experience highlights the sudden and often unexpected onset of menopause, a common sentiment among many women.

Understanding the Stages of Menopause

Menopause is not a sudden event but a gradual process that occurs in several stages.

Perimenopause: The years of irregular estrogen levels before menstruation officially ends. It can last 3-8 years. It generally starts in the 40s.

Menopause: The moment a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a period. The average age is 51 (ranges from the 40s to late 50s).

Post Menopause: The time after menopause in which estrogen declines,

The Age of Menopause

Menopause age varies from woman to woman, but typically occurs between 45 and 55 years.

The average age is 51 in the United States.

However, these numbers only tell part of the story.

Genetics, lifestyle, and overall health play crucial roles in determining when menopause will start. For instance, women who smoke may experience menopause earlier than non-smokers.

Emily, was was surprised to enter menopause at 47, much earlier than her mother, who transitioned at 55. This variability is a key aspect of menopause; no two women will experience it at the same age or in the same way.

Perimenopause: The Prelude to Menopause

Before menopause comes perimenopause.

Perimenopause often begins several years before menopause, typically in a woman's 40s, but it can start as early as the mid-30s.

This phase is marked by a decline in estrogen, leading to menstrual irregularities and other symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.

  • Irregular periods

  • Hot flashes

  • Night sweats

  • Sleep issues

  • Mood changes

  • Vaginal and bladder problems

  • Bone density changes

During a recent LifeBloom workshop, Linda shared her perimenopause experience. She described it as a rollercoaster, with periods fluctuating between heavy and completely unpredictable spotting. Linda's story is a vivid example of how perimenopause can be a time of significant change, both physically and emotionally.

symptoms of perimenopause

Recognizing the Early Signs

As we navigate the seas of change during perimenopause, it's crucial to recognize the early signs, often called "Signs of Menopause Early" and "Early Symptoms of the Menopause."

These signs herald the onset of a significant transition.

Hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings are the most talked about, but there's more to the story. For instance, changes in menstrual cycles – be it in flow or frequency – are common indicators.

  • Irregular Periods

  • Hot Flashes

  • Sleep Disturbances

  • Mood Swings

  • Vaginal Dryness

  • Decreased Libido

  • Night Sweats

  • Weight Gain

  • Breast Tenderness

  • Fatigue

  • Urinary Urgency

  • Memory Lapses

Jane, shared her initial disbelief when she first experienced irregular periods and unexplained mood changes in her early 40s. Like many, she was unaware these were early signs of menopause.

Experienceing symptons? Join the menopause community and Facebook group here!

Pre Menopause Symptoms: What to Expect

The stage before menopause, often termed "pre menopause," can be a time of profound physical and emotional change.

The symptoms here are more pronounced and varied: from sleep disturbances to changes in libido, and from weight gain to memory lapses.

These symptoms are the body's response to fluctuating hormone levels.

In our LifeBloom sessions, I've encountered numerous women like Laura, who was baffled by her sudden weight gain and sleepless nights at the age of 47. Her story resonates with many who struggle to link these changes to pre menopause.

At LifeBloom, we know that understanding these symptoms helps manage them better and prepares women for what lies ahead in their menopausal journey.

Gain clarity, confidence, and community.

When Does Perimenopause Begin?

When can perimenopause begin? The onset of perimenopause varies significantly among women.

Scientifically, it's the phase when the ovaries gradually start reducing estrogen production.

This transition usually begins in a woman's 40s but can start as early as her 30s.

On average, perimenopause lasts 3-8 years but can extend up to a decade.

LifeBloom member Ellen began noticing perimenopause symptoms at 38. She initially mistook them for stress-related changes. Ellen's story is a testament to the diverse range of experiences during this phase.

At LifeBloom we understand that recognizing the onset of perimenopause can empower women to understand better and manage the changes occurring in their bodies.

Understanding Menopause Symptoms

Navigating through menopause requires understanding its symptoms. What is the symptoms of menopause?

Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.

But it's important to note that experiences vary widely.

Some women may have mild symptoms, while others experience more severe symptoms. In my most recent research, 87% of women stated that menopause negatively impacted their lives.

During a LifeBloom seminar, I met Rose, who shared her struggles with severe loss of libido, severely disrupting her marriage. Her story echoed the experiences of many other women in the group, highlighting the spectrum of menopause symptoms. Today, her sex life (and marriage) is strong and thriving.

When Does a Woman Typically Go Through Menopause?

A question often on the minds of many in our LifeBloom community is, "When does a woman typically go through menopause?"

On average, women experience menopause at around 51 years, but this age can vary widely.

Genetics plays a crucial role, often mirroring the menopausal age of a woman's mother or sisters.

Lifestyle factors, like smoking or certain health conditions, can also influence the timing.

My student, Anita, experienced menopause at 48, much earlier than her mother, who transitioned at 55. Her story illustrates the uniqueness of each woman's menopausal journey.

Post Menopause: Life After the Transition

Entering the phase of "post menopause" marks the end of menopause and the beginning of a new chapter.

Post-menopause starts after a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period.

Hormone levels stabilize at a lower level, ending most menopausal symptoms. However, health risks, like osteoporosis and heart disease, can increase due to lower estrogen levels.

Postmenopause, we face osteoporosis, increased risk of memory loss and cognitive changes, increased risk of heart disease, and increased risk of various forms of cancer. 

Catherine found post-menopause to be a liberating phase, free from the worries of periods and menopausal symptoms. Through one-on-one LifeBloom coaching, she focused on health and wellness in post-menopause. While she opted for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to mitigate the long-term length effects of low estrogen, natural solutions are also available.

Menopause at 40: What to Know

Though less common, some women begin their menopausal transition as early as their late 30s to early 40s, often referred to as "menopause at 40."

This early onset can be due to genetics, medical interventions like hysterectomy, or certain health conditions.

Early menopause can bring its own set of challenges, including an increased risk for certain health issues due to a longer duration of reduced estrogen.

My partner entered early menopause after a hysterectomy. Her experience was filled with unexpected physical and emotional changes, underscoring the need for awareness and support for women undergoing early menopause.

When Will the Menopause End?

A common query among women in the throes of menopause is, "When will the menopause end?"

Menopause itself is a point in time, marking 12 months since the last menstrual period.

However, the symptoms associated with the menopausal transition, such as hot flashes and mood swings, can last for several years.

On average, these symptoms persist for about four to eight years.

During a LifeBloom workshop, a participant named Donna shared her relief upon realizing that the challenging symptoms of menopause wouldn't last forever. Her story resonates with many who face menopause with uncertainty. Acknowledging that these symptoms are temporary can provide a sense of hope and resilience as women navigate through this natural life stage.

Early Menopause: Understanding the Risks and Signs

Early menopause, occurring before the age of 40, is a reality for some women.

Early menopause at what age

With menopause comes fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. The implications of low estrogen are crucial for our health and well-being.

Early menopause can arise due to genetic factors, autoimmune disorders, or medical treatments like chemotherapy.

It's not just about the earlier cessation of periods; early menopause can increase the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and even cognitive changes due to the prolonged lack of estrogen.

In our Bloomer Brigade community, I recall Rachel's story. She entered early menopause at 38 due to an autoimmune condition. Rachel's journey was challenging, not just physically but emotionally, as she coped with this unexpected life change ahead of her peers.

Menopause FAQ

FAQ: Understanding Menopause

What is the Age of Menopause?

Answer: The age of menopause typically ranges from 45 to 55 years, with the average being around 51 years in the United States.

When Does Menopause Start?

Answer: Menopause starts at different times for different women but often begins in the late 40s or early 50s.

What is the Average Age of Menopause?

Answer: The average age of menopause is 51, though it can vary widely from woman to woman.

When Does a Women Go Through Menopause?

Answer: A woman typically goes through menopause during her late 40s to early 50s, but it can start earlier or later, depending on various factors.

What Age Do Women Go Through Menopause?

Answer: Women can go through menopause at various ages, most commonly between 45 and 55 years old.

At What Age Does Early Menopause Occur?

Answer: Early menopause, also known as premature menopause, can occur before the age of 40.

What Are the Signs of Menopause?

Answer: Common signs of menopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and mood swings.

What is the Symptoms of Menopause?

Answer: The symptoms of menopause can range from changes in menstruation to physical symptoms like hot flashes and emotional changes such as mood swings.

What lifestyle changes can help manage menopause symptoms?

Answer: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress reduction techniques can significantly alleviate menopause symptoms.

Are there treatments available for severe menopause symptoms?

Answer: Treatments like hormone therapy can be effective for severe symptoms. However, they should be discussed with a healthcare provider to weigh the benefits and risks.

How can I support my mental health during menopause?

Answer: Engaging in activities you enjoy, seeking social support, and possibly counseling can be beneficial. Remember, it's normal to experience mood swings and emotional changes during this time.

What should I know about bone health after menopause?

Answer: Post-menopause, women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis due to lower estrogen levels. Calcium, vitamin D intake, and regular exercise are important for bone health.

References and Resources:

Menopause videos (FREE): Kay Bloom

Menopause guide (FREE): LifeBoom Menopause

Science-backed supplements: Provitalize and Black Cohosh 

Web resources (FREE): Cleveland Clinic and NAMS and Mayo Clinic Doctor Database (FREE): Menopause Doctor Database

Facebook Community: Bloomer Brigade

Menopause Community: Bloomer Brigade

The key takeaway is that menopause, whether it arrives early, on time, or late, is a natural and normal phase of life. Embracing it with knowledge, support, and a positive mindset can transform this transition into a period of empowerment and growth.

Let's continue to break the silence around menopause, supporting each other through this journey with compassion and understanding.

Join the Bloomer Brigade NOW—because every woman deserves a brigade by her side during menopause.


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