General Articles

When Do Menopause Symptoms Start?

Most women go through menopause in their late 40s or early 50s, but usually menopause symptoms start during perimenopause, which typically begins 2 -10 years before the menopause transition. During perimenopause, symptoms start to occur, and their severity is different for every woman. However, approximately 25% of women won't experience any symptoms in the time leading up to menopause. Keep reading to find out more about when menopause symptoms start and how to deal with them. 

When Do Menopause Symptoms Start?

What Is the Average Age of Menopause?

For most women, menopause symptoms start in their late 40s or early 50s while they are still menstruating. Hormone fluctuations that occur as the body prepares itself for menopause and the reproductive years coming to an end are what causes perimenopause symptoms.

During perimenopause, the ovaries become less and less active, which causes estrogen and progesterone levels to fall, resulting in hormonal imbalance.

When menopause symptoms begin, many women may not realize that they are in perimenopause. If menopause symptoms have started, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor and learn more about this stage and how to deal with the bothersome symptoms.

The First Symptoms of Menopause

Usually, when menopause symptoms start, they affect women in different ways and combinations. However, there are some that will affect most women, including:

  • Irregular periods. Changes in menstruation are often one of the first signs that a woman is approaching menopause, though irregular periods vary depending on each woman's unique cycle.
  • Hot flashes. Flashes are a sudden, transient sensation of warmth or heat that spreads over the body, creating a flushing or redness that is particularly noticeable on the face and upper body.
  • Night sweats. Also known as “sleep hyperhidrosis,” night sweats aren't actually a sleep disorder, but a common perspiration disorder that occurs during sleep.
  • Mood swings. Menopausal mood swings are surprisingly common, but can be hard to cope with. A woman experiencing mood swings may feel like she is on a rollercoaster of emotions.
  • Vaginal dryness. When estrogen levels drop, the vaginal tissue becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. Lack of lubrication leads to vaginal dryness.

Some menopause symptoms greatly affect a woman's life and become a burden, so it's good to know how to control them. Read on to learn more about managing menopause symptoms.

How to Deal with the Symptoms

When menopause symptoms begin, they can be rather mild and easy to deal with. During menopause, small lifestyle changes – such as eating more healthily, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly – should help with the symptoms.

Alternative Treatments for Menopause Symptoms

For some women, menopause symptoms become a real problem and lower their quality of life. Alternative treatments are a practical option to treat hormonal imbalance, the main cause of menopause symptoms.

Am I Too Young to Be Experiencing Menopause Symptoms?

A small percentage of women experience early menopause, which can impact their overall health. Click here to read about the symptoms of early menopause.

How to Manage Menopause Symptoms Naturally

Leading a healthy lifestyle is imperative to relieving menopausal symptoms. Click here to read how to improve your overall health.

34 Menopause Symptoms and Nausea

During menopause, women can suffer from a wide range of symptoms. Learn more about the 34 menopause symptoms and nausea.

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  • Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.