What is menopause?
The word ‘menopause’ refers to the last or final menstrual period a woman experiences. When a woman has had no periods for 12 consecutive months she is considered to be ‘postmenopausal’.
Most women become menopausal naturally between the ages of 45 and 55 years, with the average age of onset at around 50 years.
Premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency may occur before the age of 40 due to natural ovarian function ceasing, following surgery to remove the ovaries, or as a result of cancer treatments. Menopause is considered ‘early’ when it occurs between 40 and 45 years.
What is peri-menopause (the menopausal transition)?
Peri-menopause refers to the time leading up to menopause when a woman may start experiencing changes in her menstrual periods such as, irregular periods or changes in flow. Cycles can be shorter or longer in length. Symptoms may also include hot flushes and night sweats, aches and pains, fatigue or irritability as well as premenstrual symptoms such as sore breasts. These changes may be caused by fluctuations in the production of hormones from the ovary. Some women can experience menopausal symptoms for 5-10 years before their final menstrual period. There is no way to predict the age at which a woman’s menopausal symptoms will start or how long they will last.
* Excerpt from https://www.menopause.org.au