Menopause FAQs


What is menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life that is commonly called the “change”, usually spoken about with dread and fear and is a time that is greatly misunderstood.  Menopause is confirmed when a woman has missed her period for 12 consecutive months under normal circumstances, not as the result of surgery or other health related issues.

What causes menopause?
Menopause is the natural result of the ovaries slowing down the production of estrogen and other necessary hormones for the childbearing years due to aging and also indicates the end of fertility.

What is the average age of a woman during menopause?
Menopause normally occurs around ages 50 to 52 but can occur as early as 40 or as late as 55 years of age.

Hot Flash: The time between puberty (when periods start) and menopause (when periods end) is called premenopause.

What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the transitional time when physical signs of menopause begin but before the final period has been missed for a year. Perimenopause can last up to 6 to 7 years.

What are the symptoms of Perimenopause?
Many of the symptoms of Perimenopause and menopause are the same, which can cause confusion for women as well as medical providers.  The primary reason for symptoms during the Perimenopausal years is due to the erratic levels of estrogen and other ovarian hormones being produced.  Exceptions to the similarity in symptoms are irregular periods and the ability to conceive during perimenopause, which is not possible in menopause.  Please see the list below of menopausal symptoms for the list of perimenopausal symptoms.

Hot Flash: Contraception is advisable during this time if pregnancy is not wanted.

What is induced menopause?
Induced menopause is when the natural production of a woman’s ovarian hormones abruptly ends causing to the menstrual periods stop as the result of a medical procedure, i.e. surgical removal of both ovaries, or sometimes cancer treatments. These events can occur at any age between the first and last periods.

Hot Flash: Symptoms related to medically induced menopause can be similar to those from natural menopause. But premenopausal women who experience induced menopause are faced with menopause and its effects without the gradual adjustment time of perimenopause. The abrupt loss of estrogen may result in more sudden and intense symptoms. Women who experience induced menopause usually have a greater need for treatment to control their menopause-associated symptoms than women who undergo natural menopause.

What is early or premature menopause?

Women aged 40 or younger who experience menopause, whether natural or induced, is called premature menopause.  Women who go through premature menopause, natural or induced, spend more years without the benefits of estrogen. They are at greater risk for some health problems later in life, such as heart disease and osteoporosis; you have special healthcare needs and should seek care from you physician.

What is postmenopause?
Postmenopause are the years after menopause.