For many women, menopause is a time full of challenges, changes, and adaptations. Some look ahead with dread and others can’t help but wonder how long does menopause last, (and even what menopause is). We know it can be a difficult time. That’s why this time we’re bringing you all the facts you need to know, so you can fully enjoy this natural process in every woman’s life.
How long does menopause last?
Menopause occurs when 12 months have passed since your last menstrual period. The length of time menopause symptoms last can vary from woman to woman, depending on many factors; however, the average is 4 years after the last menstrual period. In some women, symptoms may continue for longer. For this reason, it is not easy to know how long does menopause last (NHS, 2022; Age UK, 2021).
After menopause, its characteristic signs will change and decrease. For example, hot flushes and night sweats may improve, but your mood may decline and lead to anxiety. Other symptoms such as joint pain and vaginal dryness may remain after your periods stop (NHS, 2022).
In post-menopause stage, which lasts for the rest of your life, hormone levels will also reach their lowest levels and remain so. The fertile years will be left behind because ovulation is no longer occurring. In addition, women are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and heart disease (Cleveland Clinic, 2021).
Stop wondering how long does menopause last and enjoy it to the full
Now that you know the approximate length of menopause, here are some tips to help you enjoy menopause to the full (Family Doctor, 2021; Mayo Clinic, 2021; NHS, 2022):
Regular exercise can help you control and reduce the intensity of some menopausal symptoms. These include hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. Physical activity can also help keep your bones strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Try to include weight-bearing activities where your feet can support your weight, such as running, walking, or dancing.
Eat a healthy diet
Watching what you eat is another thing you should do to manage menopausal symptoms and reduce the risk of premature ageing. Include plenty of fruit, vegetables, and calcium-rich foods, such as milk, yoghurt, and kale, to keep your bones healthy. Also, avoid or cut down on spicy foods, as well as hot, alcoholic, or caffeinated drinks, which can worsen hot flushes and night sweats.
Choose to wear comfortable, cool clothes
Wearing light or cool clothing can help reduce the intensity of hot flushes and night sweats, one of the most annoying symptoms of menopause. It is also advisable to take baths and cold drinks to control them.
Practice relaxing activities
Yoga, tai chi, meditation and breathing techniques can help reduce anxiety levels as well as maintain your mental well-being. In addition, yoga and tai chi help improve strength and coordination, as well as prevent falls that can lead to fractures.
Considering how long does menopause last, get enough rest.
To avoid waking up at night, keep your bedroom cool and use cotton sheets. Also, avoid coffee, alcohol, heavy meals, using screens and exercising close to bedtime. Restful sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being.
This can be an overwhelming time; however, knowing how long does menopause last and understanding that it is a normal process in every woman’s life can help you live and enjoy it as just another stage full of changes and discoveries.
Age UK. (2021). 6 things to know about the menopause. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/6-things-to-know-about-the-menopause/
Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Postmenopause. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21837-postmenopause
Family Doctor. (2021). ¿Qué es la menopausia? https://es.familydoctor.org/condicion/menopausia/?adfree=true
Mayo Clinic. (2021). Menopausia. https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397
National Health Service [NHS]. (2022). Menopause. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/