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Discover the average age of menopause, its three major stages, symptoms, and treatment.

Sep 20, 2023 By Madison Evans

Menopause, the end of a woman's menstrual cycle, is natural. Women with 12 months of no menstruation are diagnosed. This takes time. The average age of menopause is 51, but women usually start experiencing symptoms between 30 and 40.

The cause behind this change lies in the ovaries. As women age, their ovaries produce less estrogen and progestin. The reproductive cycle slows and stops as hormone synthesis decreases.

Stages of Menopause

So far, three stages of menopause have been identified.


This is the start of menopause. Women often experience irregular menstrual cycles during perimenopause. During this time, estrogen levels vary, causing hot flashes, sleep problems, and mood swings. The ovaries produce little estrogen after several years of perimenopause.


After 12 months without a period, a woman is in this stage. The ovaries no longer release eggs and produce little estrogen and progestin. Menopause is the end of menstruation and fertility.


Menopause precedes postmenopause. Many perimenopause symptoms may improve, but estrogen levels may drop and trigger new problems. Women after menopause have a higher risk of osteoporosis and CVD. Regular medical examinations and a healthy lifestyle can lower these risks and ensure your health during these years.

Menopause Signs

If you have any of these symptoms, menopause may be imminent:

  • Heatwaves
  • Nighttime chills and sweating.
  • Urinary urgency.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Emotions change
  • Tender breasts.
  • PMS worsens.
  • Period irregularities Racing heart.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • libido changes
  • Concentration or memory issues
  • Gain weight.
  • Thinning hair.

If you're unclear if these symptoms indicate menopause, visit your doctor.

What Causes Menopause?

As women age, their reproductive cycles slow and prepare to stop. This cycle began at puberty. Your monthly menstrual cycle alters when your body produces less estrogen.

Is Menopause Treatable?

Your body goes through menopause naturally.If severe, we address symptoms that make living difficult. Many natural and hormonal menopausal remedies exist. You can discuss your hormonal difficulties with your doctor, who will recommend hormonal or nonhormonal medication.

Hormonal Ways to Help Treat Menopause Symptoms

Two primary hormonal treatments are:

Estrogen Therapy

In ET, you take estrogen alone. Your doctor prescribes low doses. Doctors can provide pills, tubes, and other forms of this hormone, but the line is detrimental to the uteruses.

Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy

In EPT, Estrogen and progesterone dosages are combined.

So, do hormonal and therapy pose health risks? Pills can harm your reproductive cycle. Thus, hormonal treatments include dangers.

You may face these risks:

  • Endometrial cancer
  • A gallbladder problem.
  • Blood clots.
  • DVT.
  • Pulmonary embolism.
  • Stroke.

Starting hormone therapy within ten years of menopause reduces these chances. Your cardiovascular disease risk rises after that.

Severe hot flashes and nocturnal sweats increase heart disease risk. These unpleasant sensations and heart disease risk may lead your doctor to recommend hormone therapy. Choosing hormone therapy is personal. Discuss your health history and circumstances with your doctor to improve treatment.

Non-Hormonal Therapies for Menopause

Natural menopause causes physiological changes in women. Hormone therapy may help some women, but not all. Non-hormonal therapy may be better for certain medical issues. Dietary changes and pharmaceutical drugs cure distinct menopausal symptoms.

Dietary Adjustments for Symptom Relief

A balanced diet can play a pivotal role in managing the intensity and frequency of menopausal symptoms.

  • Reducing Caffeine: Reducing caffeine intake might alleviate some symptoms, including sleep disturbances and mood swings.
  • Estrogen-rich Foods: Foods that naturally contain or mimic estrogen can help balance hormones in the body, potentially reducing the severity of symptoms. Some recommended foods include:
  • Soybeans: A source of plant-based estrogen.
  • Chickpeas, Lentils, and Beans: These legumes contain phytoestrogens that may help manage symptoms.
  • Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables: Whole grains and fruits and vegetables give nutrients and promote health.

Hot Flash Triggers

Hot flashes, sudden feelings of warmth that spread over the upper body, can be one of the most uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Specific triggers can exacerbate them:

Environmental Adjustments: Menopausal symptoms can be sensitive to one's surroundings. Ensuring your home is comfortably cool and investing in breathable bedding can significantly enhance comfort, especially during sleep.

Clothing Choices: Layered clothing is a boon during menopause. As body temperatures oscillate, layered outfits provide flexibility, allowing quick adaptations to sudden warmth or chill.

Lifestyle Changes: Smoking exacerbates menopausal hot flashes. Eliminating this habit can bring notable relief. Additionally, a balanced weight contributes to fewer hot flashes episodes, highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle during this phase.

The Benefits of Regular Exercise

While exercise might not directly counteract hot flashes, it can undoubtedly aid in mitigating other menopausal symptoms:

Sleeping Concerns: Struggling with sleep is a common menopausal complaint. Maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a solution. Physical activity helps regulate sleep cycles, ensuring a deeper and more restful night's sleep, thereby addressing insomnia issues.

Mood Management: Yoga, a holistic practice, offers more than just physical benefits. It is a grounding activity that can significantly aid emotional well-being. Regular yoga sessions help moderate mood fluctuations and ease anxiety, ensuring a calmer mental state during menopause.

Support Groups

Experiencing menopause can be an emotionally taxing experience. Joining support groups can be cathartic, as sharing experiences and seeking peer advice can bring solace and practical solutions.

Prescription Medications: Beyond Hormones

If natural methods don't provide adequate relief, there are several non-hormonal medications that doctors might prescribe:

Antidepressants: Some women experiencing menopause find relief with specific low-dose antidepressants. These drugs can help mitigate mood swings and alleviate other symptoms as a non-hormonal alternative to traditional treatments.

Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants: Vaginal dryness is a frequent issue during menopause. To combat this discomfort, many women turn to moisturizers and lubricants. These products help restore moisture, ensuring daily comfort and ease during intimate moments.

Gabapentin: While gabapentin primarily treats seizures, it has a secondary benefit for menopausal women. Many have reported reduced frequency and intensity of hot flashes when taking this medication, offering another therapeutic avenue for symptom management.

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