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Stages of Menopause

Menopause is a normal part of life, just like puberty. Many women may notice changes in their bodies before and after menopause.

The transition usually has three parts:

  1. Perimenopause
  2. Menopause
  3. Post-Menopause

Changes usually begin with perimenopause. This can begin several years before a woman’s last menstrual period. Menopause comes next, the end of the menstrual periods. After a full year without a period, menopause is over. Post-menopause follows menopause and lasts for the rest of a woman’s life. The average age for the last period is 51. Some women, however, have the last period in their forties, and some have it later in their fifties (1). For many women, this process is a smooth transition and goes unnoticed with no symptoms, but for others this seemingly normal part of life is not normal for them at all.

National Institutes of Health – National Institute on Aging, “Menopause.” http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause.