will menopause symptoms ever end ?
You’re never too old – or too young – to have menopause symptoms, as hidden hormone havoc can go on for years. But there are steps you can take whatever stage you’re at.
While all women go through menopause, not all will experience it equally. The reality is that, for every one of us who sails through the time relatively unscathed, there will be four others who find themselves in a world of hot flushes, aching joints, disturbed sleep, foggy brain and mood swings.
Several studies have shown that, for some women, menopausal symptoms can continue for a decade or more after their last period. Indeed, a recent US study of 3000 women found that, although symptoms in those who had frequent hot flushes and night sweats persisted on average for more than four years after their last period, it was women who had symptoms premenopausally that were still suffering nearly 12 years after menopause. According to GP Dr Shahzadi Harper, it’s not just hot flushes and night sweats – low moods, loss of confidence, foggy brain, loss of libido and poor sleep can all persist, too. So, let’s talk frankly about what really happens during menopause. Here, unvarnished, are all the things our mothers never told us.
Some women experience years of symptoms before they reach their final period. Although many still think of menopause as something that happens in your 50s (51 is the average age for women to have their last period), for many, symptoms start in their mid or even early 40s, says Dr Harper. “I often describe perimenopause as the brackets around the menopause,” she explains. “Symptoms can last for as long as 10 years before and 10 years after your final period.