Health Topics > Menopause

Menopause

The menopause happens when we stop having periods, and is often referred to as 'the change of life.

The average age for women in the UK to go through the menopause is 52 but it can happen earlier.

If it happens under the age of 45, it's called premature menopause and affects one percent of women under 40, and 0.1 percent of women under 30.

The menopause happens because of falling levels of the hormone estrogen which means we stop producing eggs.

However, you can still get pregnant two years after your last period if you're under 50, and for one year if you're over 50 so you need to carry on using contraception.

The time leading up to menopause is known as peri-menopause when you may experience physical and emotional symptoms, sometimes three to four years before your periods stop completely.

You have reached the menopause if you haven't had a period for a year.2 The time after menopause is known as post-menopausal.

Around 80 percent of women in the UK experience symptoms leading up to the menopause, and about 45 percent will find their symptoms difficult to deal with.

However, only around 10 percent of women seek help from their doctors.

If you do suffer severe symptoms, there are plenty of treatments available.

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