The menopause timeline
Updated: Jun 1
When does it start, when does it end? We got the 101 for you!
The ups and downs, the symptoms, the wait… Menopause is a long trip, and not necessarily one that we feel fully prepared for. All the new vocabulary that you start hearing around, words like“perimenopause”, “progesterone” or “osteoporosis”, probably don’t help when it comes to feeling on top of what exactly is going on. So, let us explain the stages of menopause to help you navigate better.
This is your whole life before menopause symptoms start.
This is the 3–5 years before entering menopause. During perimenopause, estrogen and other hormone levels begin to drop. This typically happens in your late-40s, and menopause symptoms can start during this period. While the menstrual cycle becomes irregular, it does not yet fully stop, so there is still a chance of getting pregnant during perimenopause.
Menopause is when you have had your final period, which you will know once you haven’t had your period for 12 consecutive months. Natural menopause, that is menopause not caused by any medical treatment, can happen between 40 and 58 years of age with 51 as the average age, but every woman will experience menopause differently. Some women can enter menopause earlier or later, and every woman can experience symptoms in different ways.
This is the period that starts a full year after you have had your last menstrual cycle and refers to your whole life after menopause. Menopause symptoms that you have experienced during perimenopause and menopause can continue for some time during the post-menopause period.
These are broadly the stages of menopause. It is good to know the basics of menopause but remember: menopause is natural and every woman experiences it differently. There are no set rules, so do things that make you happy and healthy. Don’t be shy about talking to your trusted ones and your doctor if you need it!
And of course, Olivia is here for you every step of the way.