When does menopause happen?
The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55, but can happen anytime in your 40s or 50s. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. On average, menopause happens at age 51.
The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly. Some women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve these symptoms. HRT may also protect against osteoporosis.