We know about menopause, but it still takes us off guard when it comes. I myself wasn’t prepared for it.

I remember asking two questions. When does menopause start, and how long does menopause last?

Finding answers to my questions made me realize that they were tough to answer. But one fact is for sure – menopause messes up more than just our periods!

Menopause is a complex, personal experience. It’s not just one thing that happens to you, but an entire process that can last anywhere from several months to several years. So, when we talk about the length of menopause, what exactly do we mean? How long does menopause last? That depends on your particular circumstances and lifestyle. Let’s look at some factors that affect the length of menopause and how they can impact how long it takes for your body to stop producing eggs (and start having hot flashes).

What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural part of aging. Women stop regularly having menstrual periods because their ovaries stop producing eggs. Menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen earlier or later.

Menopause doesn’t mean you’re infertile—it just means your ovaries aren’t making eggs anymore. So if you want to have more children, you may want to think about freezing your eggs (or having them stored in a sperm bank).

Menopause isn’t a disease or health condition; it’s a normal change in most women as they age.

When does menopause begin?

Menopause begins when a woman’s menstrual cycle stops and is not a disease but a natural part of the aging process. 

Menopause typically occurs between ages 45 and 55 and ends in menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, or no periods. The average age for menopausal onset is 51 years old; however, some women experience it earlier or later than others. Some women may not experience menopausal symptoms at all!

How long does menopause last?

Menopause is the time when menstrual periods stop permanently. Menstrual periods usually stop between ages 45 and 55, but this can vary widely. Menopause can last from a few months to several years. The average length of menopause ranges from about 2-8 years for women in the U.S. It is possible to have menopause that lasts longer than ten years if you smoke heavily, have a family history of early menopause, or have a medical condition like thyroid disease.

Factors that affect the length of menopause

As you can see, many factors can affect the length and intensity of menopause. But if you’re looking for a ballpark figure, here’s what experts say:

  • Younger women will typically have milder symptoms and experience them for less time than older women.
  • Women of Asian or African descent tend to have more intense symptoms during menopause than Caucasian women.
  • Suppose your mom or grandmother went through perimenopause younger than average (the 40s). In that case, you’d likely experience it later in life as well—and even if they didn’t, it might still be helpful to talk with them about their experiences so that you can learn more about it yourself!

Types of menopause

  • Natural menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen.
  • Surgical menopause happens with a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries).
  • Early menopause occurs before age 40; it’s rare to experience this type of menopause, and many women with it have an underlying condition such as autoimmune disease or cancer.
  • Late menopause happens at age 50 or later. Women who have their final period after age 55 have late menopause.

Symptoms of early or premature menopause

  • Early or premature menopause. A woman with early or premature menopause will experience symptoms in her 30s and 40s, sometimes even before 40.
  • Late menopause. If you are in your 50s or 60s and have not gone through menopause yet but are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above, you are likely going through late menopause.
  • Early and late onset of both symptoms at the same time (early and late onset). It can be difficult for women who experience it because they may suffer from an early onset of hot flashes and a slower decline in fertility after reaching their 40th birthday (or later if they have difficulty conceiving).

Perimenopause vs. postmenopause

Perimenopause and postmenopause can be confusing, so let’s break them down. Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause and can last for years. Postmenopause refers to the period after menopause—so when you’ve gone through your last period and aren’t going to have another one until you’re old enough to qualify for AARP membership (and if you still want one).

Perimenopause marks a decrease in estrogen production and other hormonal changes in your body that may cause side effects like mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. Symptoms vary from person to person; some women experience nothing, while others feel like they’re going through PMS every month for five years straight (sorry).

Menopause can be confusing, and your personal experience with it may not be the same as someone else’s.

Menopause is a natural part of life, but it can be a confusing topic. Your personal experience with it may not be the same as someone else’s. As such, it’s important to know that you don’t have to do or think about anything differently just because you’re going through menopause! You can keep doing what you enjoy and spend time with your family and friends—menopausal or not—without worrying too much about what other people might think.

Menopause is different for everyone. Some women go through menopause earlier than others; some go through menopause later; some don’t experience any symptoms before or during their menstrual periods stopping altogether (this is called “natural” versus medically induced). The most important thing is that no matter how long menopause lasts for each person individually, there are many resources available if someone needs advice on how best to manage their symptoms for mentally/emotionally healthy.


So, if you’re wondering how long menopause lasts, it varies from person to person. Some women have symptoms for several years before their bodies stop producing estrogen, while others may only experience hot flashes for a few months.

While it can be frustrating not knowing exactly when your body will go through this change, having patience and understanding that everyone’s journey with menopause is different can help take some of the pressure off. If you struggle with symptoms or feel anxious about your body’s changing cycle, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to manage them, so they don’t get into the form of your daily life.

Every woman has a unique menopause story to tell. Understanding what’s going on in your body will make menopause more manageable. Be sure to make yourself a priority, and everything will fall into place.

How do you take care of yourself? Please share it with us in the comment section! 

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter where you can connect with other amazing women through our social channels. A space where we share our experiences, a safe place where Sisters Support Sisters, with a few laughs along the way. Join us.



We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.



We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.