There seems to be a bit of confusion over when menopause actually starts, and when it officially ends. Today, we’ll answer these questions so that you can have a better understanding of what to expect.
Many people think of menopause as being a single event.
In reality, it’s a long hormonal transition, leading from being reproductively viable and producing adequate sex hormones, to not producing any sex hormones. This transition period can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. The first stage, known as perimenopause, can start as early as 40, and as late as your early 50s. Personally, I began perimenopause around the age of 49. Perimenopause is the five to fifteen-year time span before you finally have your last period.
Then, when you haven’t had a period for two years, you are truly menopausal, moving towards the postmenopausal stage. The average age for women experiencing their last period and moving into menopause is 51.5 years old.
Now, when does menopause end?
Menopause officially ends anywhere from five to fifteen years after it starts. It is then that you move into the postmenopause phase. And for some women, even during postmenopause, you’re still having symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia. Because of this, a lot of women will continue to be treated for their menopausal symptoms, even though they’ve been postmenopausal for many years.
These symptoms that continue in postmenopause can last well into your 60s. For years after that, even if you haven’t experienced any symptoms, it’s not unusual for many women to start feeling like menopause is happening again. I like to refer to this as “adrenopause,”. About ten years after menopause, usually around your mid 60s, your adrenals become dysfunctional causing you to start having hot flashes all over again. This is because your adrenal glands produce hormones that get converted into testosterone and estrogen. This stabilizes your body as you go through postmenopause. A lot of the dysfunction in the adrenals is related to long-term chronic stress, which taxes the adrenal glands so much that they’re not able to support you when you’re going through menopause.
So to answer the question at hand:
Perimenopause can start as early as 40, with menopause starting around the age of 51 1/2.
When you haven’t had a period for at least two years, you’re truly menopausal and begin the postmenopausal phase, which lasts for the rest of your life.
Supporting your hypothalamus with Genesis Gold can really help preserve your ovarian and adrenal function, making the hormonal transition of menopause much much easier.
We talk a lot about the symptoms of menopause and what to expect in our hormone support group, which you can access through our Hormone Reboot Training. I hope you’ll join us.