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Menopause is a natural biological process. It marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years and menstrual cycle. It usually occurs very slowly over a period of seven to 10 years on average. There are some telltale signs when the process begins. The onset of symptoms is actually the first phase which is known as perimenopause.


Most women begin perimenopause in their 40s, however this varies individually. At this time, you’ll experience sporadic menstruation, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and trouble sleeping. Perimenopause usually lasts about four years until menopause begins. It’s important to remember despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible during perimenopause. Schedule yearly appointments with your gynecologist to monitor your health and to discuss where you are in the menopausal process.


Once you’ve gone 12 full months without a period, you’ve entered menopause. This is when your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making most of their estrogen. This phase usually starts around the age of 50 and often includes additional symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Racing heart
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in libido

Post menopause

Post menopause occurs in the years after menopause. At this time, hot flashes and other symptoms usually ease or go away, but there are health-related risks associated with decreasing estrogen production including: heart disease, osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, and weight gain. Speak with your physician about effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy to manage any symptoms you may have. If you have any bleeding from your vagina after menopause, make an appointment with your gynecologist.

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