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At What Age Does Menopause Start?

At What Age Does Menopause Start?

sana sarwat |

Menopause is a process that happens to everyone who has ovaries roughly between the ages of 45 and 55. It can sometime happen earlier though.

Some people even go through menopause early and early menopause is defined as being before the age of 45 and we will discuss this in more detail later in the article. We hope we can help answer the question ‘At what age does menopause start?’

The most simple way to describe menopause is that it is a process your body goes through where your hormone levels drop affecting many parts of your body. Menopause is defined as being 12 months after periods stop but you can also experience perimenopause which is when you experience menopausal symptoms but your periods are yet to have properly stopped.

Some people experience perimenopause first which means around menopause. Perimenopause is when you begin to experience menopausal symptoms before your periods have fuly stopped. Menopause is defined as being 12 months after periods have stopped.

What are the signs of menopause and perimenopause?

There are unfortunately a huge variety of symptoms that you may go through as you experience menopause.

Every person can have a very unique experience with the symptoms of menopause. You could end up having various symptoms or you could have none at all. Either is a possibility and unfortunately, you cannot know until it happens.

Normally you will go through perimenopause first where you can have symptoms months or sometime even years before your periods actually stop.

The first sign you might be able to see that you are beginning perimenopause is that normally your periods will stray from their usual pattern and can become irregular sometimes. Eventually, of course, you will cease having periods altogether.

Perimenopause and menopause can affect your physical and mental health.

Examples of mental health symptoms could look like the following:

  1. Memory problems or problems concentrating (brain fog).
  2. Mood changes such as anxiety, low mood, mood swings or low self-esteem.

Of course, along with these are the physical symptoms, you may experience the following:

  1. Inability to sleep properly - this can be caused by night sweats and can result in irritability and exhaustion in the daytime.
  2. Lower sex drive.
  3. Joint pain and muscles aching.
  4. Hot flushes - sudden changes of feeling hot and cold usually on your chest, neck and face which can result in dizziness.
  5. Headaches that are worse than what you usually experience, even migraines.
  6. Vaginal dryness, itching, pain or even just discomfort during sex.
  7. Palpitations - where your heart suddenly feels like it's beating harder and becomes more noticeable.
  8. Reoccurring UTIs (urinary tract infections).

Throughout your experience with meno[ause these symptoms may lessen or gert worse and this can last from months to years which is why it is so important to get the help you will need. The earlier you get help the more chance you have that the symptoms do not affect your day-to-day life.

Early Menopause

Menopause that starts before the age of 45 is considered to be early menopause, this naturally happens to around 5% of people.

There are a few different reasons why you could be going through early menopause. These include:

  1. Ageing - the risk increases after 35.
  2. Family history.
  3. Genetic disorders.
  4. Autoimmune conditions.
  5. Infection.
  6. Premature menopause - Premature menopause is defined as naturally occurring before the age of 40, this affects about 1% of people who go through menopause. For 90% of those people though the reason why they are experiencing premature menopause goes unknown.
  7. An oophorectomy (a surgery to remove the ovaries).
  8. A hysterectomy (a surgery to remove the uterus).
  9. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

Sometimes the reason is even unknown.

Perimenopause literally means around menopause and is the terminology we use to describe when somebody has menopausal symptoms before their period has actually stopped. Menopause is classified as 12 months after your period has completely stopped.

The symptoms for both are of course very similar. They can cause symptoms such as;

  • Mood swings.
  • Brain fog.
  • Anxiety.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Irregular periods.

These symptoms are just some of the most common ones and there are a lot more that you could experience. Some symptoms od menopause and perimenopause can actually be quite debilitating and can affect your quality of life if you are not able to handle them properly.

There are treatments that can really help you lessen the severity of your menopause or perimenopause symptoms which can really help you through the whole process.

Of course, before you know exactly what will help you you need to first know if you are going through menopause.

How can you test for menopause?

The best way to test for menopause is to test for the level of FSH in your system which . This stands for follicle-stimulating hormone. This is an indicator of whether or not you are going through menopause.

An FSH test can be conducted using a blood sample or a urine sample. If you choose to go to see a medical professional they are more likely to take blood than a urine test. At-home tests however use a urine sample to test for the levels of FSH.

This test should ideally be carried out on day 3 of your menstrual cycle with the first day being the day your period begins. It has been said though that it is possible to do on days 2 and 4 instead but that day 3 is the perfect time.

This applies mostly to those who are booking in with a doctor and may be unable to get the exact day they need. With an at-home test, it is much easier to make sure that you take the test at the right time.

At-home tests usually use medical laboratory management software.

The best test for menopause is the test that suits you. If you feel that you would prefer to see a doctor that will work best for you but if you’re looking for an easy way to test for yourself, at-home test kits are amazing.

Lifestyle changes to help menopause and perimenopause

Some lifestyle changes can help to ease some of the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause and although they may not work perfectly for everyone they are certainly worth a try.

Some of these tips are also just great tips for keeping healthy and looking after yourself too so even if they don’t help all your symptoms they should keep you feeling well in yourself.

You should:

  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Eat calcium-rich foods like yoghurt which will help to keep your bones healthy.
  • Rest, try and keep a regular sleep schedule, you will feel much more settled.
  • Regularly exercise. Walking, dancing and running are all great options to keep you moving.
  • Discuss what you are experiencing with others going through the same thing, an empathetic ear can really make a difference to your mental health.
  • Do relaxing activities like yoga or meditation.
  • Make sure you talk it through with a doctor if you are considering taking any medicines or herbal supplements just to double-check.

You should not:

  • Smoke.
  • Over exceed the recommended limit of alcohol.

Neither smoking nor drinking too much are good for us at any time ut when your body is going through any kind of change it can make our lives much more difficult than they need to be. Both of these things can be triggers for symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats.

Official Rapid Tests

We offer an at-home FSH test to help you find the answers and help you need as soon as possible or you can go to one of our test centres.

Instant Menopause Test


The Menopause Test is a rapid self-test for detecting follicle-stimulating hormone in urine identifying the onset of menopause in women.

If the test indicates the onset of menopause, you may wish to see a doctor to do further tests to confirm the result. A doctor or pharmacist can also help with treatment for your symptoms.

This Instant Menopause Test was created by Official Rapid Tests, started by a team of expert medical professionals, and they now have over 11,000 5-star reviews online. For more information or to ask a question about the instant menopause test, visit the frequently asked questions page.