Pre-menopause is the time in a woman's life before any menopausal symptoms begin. Women will still have their menstrual periods and are still in their reproductive years. In other words, this is the time between a woman’s first period and the onset of perimenopause.
Perimenopause is the time in a woman’s life when she is transitioning towards menopause; also called the menopause transition. During this life stage, estrogen and progesterone levels are rising and falling in the body causing “menopause symptoms.” It usually begins in the mid-40’s, but can start earlier, and lasts on average about 4 years, but can last longer. This is the stage that is most symptomatic. These symptoms can include hot flashes, weight gain, brain fog, joint pain, fatigue, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, acne, night sweats, sleep disruptions, bloating, muscle loss, and more. When a woman states, “I’m going through menopause,” she is typically referring to perimenopause.
Menopause is the 1 day in time that is the 1 year anniversary since a woman’s last menstrual period. If, for example, she goes 8 months without a period and then she has one, the clock starts over. The average age is about 51 years old. Menopause can be medically induced through the removal of the ovaries or radical hysterectomy; this is referred to as surgical menopause and is immediate, so no 12 month waiting period.
Post-menopause is the time in a woman’s life after that 1 day in time that is “menopause” (12 months without a menstrual period or immediately following surgical menopause). Estrogen and progesterone levels are low and no longer fluctuating, she is no longer releasing eggs and menopause symptoms become milder and, for many, eventually go away, although symptoms could still last for years for some women. Once past menopause, a woman will remain in the post-menopause stage for the rest of her life.
PLEASE NOTE, if you are having a medical emergency, call 911. None of the information on this website, my blog, or social media is meant to replace the advice of a doctor or any other medical professional. I am not a medical professional. The information on this website, my blog, or social media is the culmination of research from many sources, as well as my own personal experience with the different stages of menopause.