When Does Menopause Start?

Menopause is something that every woman goes through. Once periods have stopped for 12 months, a woman is considered to be in menopause. The transitional period, which starts with a menstrual cycle that becomes irregular and ends with no periods at all, is considered as perimenopause. All of these terms and time frames can be confusing to women. So when does menopause start on earth?

When Does Menopause Start?

For most women, menopause begins in their late 40s or early 50s. However, symptoms of menopause can show up ten years before menopause actually begins. About 30 percent of women do not experience symptoms at all, while others experience symptoms severe enough that they must seek help from their doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?

Sometimes the first symptom of menopause is irregular periods. But women often experience many symptoms before those irregular periods begin. The symptoms typically last for four years before they resolve. They might include mood swings, a lowered sex drive, hot flashes, sweating, headaches, a racing heart, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness and painful sex.

The symptoms of menopause can be severe, and they can affect your life greatly if you ignore them. It is very important to take good care of yourself when you feel the symptoms of menopause. This means eating healthy, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep.

Factors That Affect the Beginning Time of Menopause

Wondering "When does menopause start" is a common issue for many women. It would be nice to be prepared, but with such a wide range of years during which menopause can happen, it can be tough to be ready for it. However, there are some factors that can affect your beginning time of menopause that you should pay attention to.

1.  Genes

When did your mother experience menopause? Chances are you will go through it during the same time she did. Want to know "When does menopause start?" Looking for when your mother started to experience the symptoms.

2.  Smoking

If you smoke, you are likely to reach menopause earlier. This is due to the damage that smoking does to your body, including your ovaries. In fact, if your mother didn’t smoke and you do, you will likely to have menopause much easier than she did.

3.  Chemotherapy

These toxic treatments can actually put a woman into temporary menopause; for some, chemotherapy triggers permanent menopause. Even if the situation is temporary, those who have undergone chemotherapy can expect to experience menopause a few years earlier than they would have otherwise.

4.  Ovarian Surgery

Any surgeries on the ovaries can lead to earlier menopause. That’s because with each surgery, the ovaries are somewhat damaged, and that damage can lead to an early trigger of symptoms. Before having any surgery, you can consult the doctor,"when does menopause start for those who have undergone this surgery?"

5.  Ethnicity

Chinese and Japanese women tend to undergo menopause later than those who are Caucasian. Besides, those who are of Hispanic or African-American descent reach it a bit earlier. Every woman is different, but ethnicity does seem to play a role.

There are some things that actually don't make a difference on when does menopause start. This includes the age you were at your first period, how many times you have been pregnant, whether you have chosen to breastfeed at some point in your life, or the hormonal birth control method you have chosen to use.

What to Do If Menopause Affects Your Life Greatly

If you are suffering from serious issues with menopause, there are some treatments that might help. Here are a few options:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking or avoiding alcohol, can help you feel better when you get the harshest symptoms.
  • Prescription medications can help alleviate the problems, as can some hormone therapies that are designed to replace the hormones that are fluctuating during menopause.
  • Antidepressants and some anti-seizure drugs actually work well in combating hot flashes and other bothersome symptoms.
  • Sleep problems can be alleviated with a gentle sleep aid, such as those that are sold over the counter. For serious sleep problems your doctor might offer a prescription medication.
  • Vaginal dryness can be helped with lubricants that are specifically designed for the unique needs of a woman going through menopause.
  • Some non-traditional therapies, such as acupuncture, therapeutic massage, meditation and relaxation techniques might help some women. 
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