When it comes to menopause, there’s a big question that comes up: How do I know when it is over? Recognizing the signs of menopause ending is just as important as understanding the signs it is beginning. Menopause doesn’t end abruptly, the same way it doesn’t begin abruptly. It is a subtle shift into a new season. If you need more information about the different symptoms of menopause before diving into the signs of menopause ending, we have some information here with a detailed list. You can also check out what phase of menopause you’re in with our helpful quiz. Read on to learn how to recognize the concluding signs of menopause.
What is menopause and why does it happen?
Menopause is a transition in life when a woman no longer gets her period. Beginning between the ages of 35 and 55, it is an evolution into midlife that marks the end of childrearing years. Between the ages of 35 and 55, the ovaries become smaller and stop producing progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones control the menstrual cycle. Without their production, the egg count dwindles and fertility declines. As the hormones quit producing altogether, monthly menstruation and the ability to get pregnant ends as well. It is important to note if you've received treatment for breast cancer or have had a hysterectomy, there is an increased risk of premature menopause. As always, consult with your gynecologist to ensure you are receiving the best support and guidance possible.
Understanding the Phases and Symptoms of Menopause
Perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause are the three stages of menopause. Let’s start with the perimenopausal transition. This is considered the “before” stage of menopause and it lasts about three to five years. Women commonly report entering this stage in their late 40’s, but it can happen earlier for some folks. Causes of entering menopause earlier than expected can stem from health issues that require having the uterus or ovaries removed or experiencing premature ovarian failure. During early menopause, the estrogen and hormone levels drop. You’re likely to experience irregular periods and symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, night sweats, elevated heart rate, mood changes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, discomfort during sexual intercourse, and urinary issues. It is important to remember that you can still get pregnant during perimenopause, so if that is a concern for you, keep using birth control until at least one year after your last period. Lifestyle changes can help relieve some of the bothersome signals of the menopausal transition. Curb vaginal dryness with our Daily Vaginal Lotion and incorporate our Core Dietary Supplement for overall nutritional support.
The transition from perimenopause to menopause can take one to three years. The average age women enter menopause is around 51 or 52. You know you’ve entered menopause when twelve consecutive months have passed since your last period and it is not related to illness, medication, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Remember, this is an extremely unique process that does not look the same for every person. You may experience all the symptoms or just a few symptoms. If you find that you’re struggling with low energy, our Energy Boosting Dietary Supplement may be just what you need. Fighting through night sweats and menopause-induced insomnia? The Sleep Enhancing Dietary Supplement is designed to help.
Onto postmenopause - technically speaking, postmenopause begins after one to two years has passed since your last menstrual cycle. That being said, symptoms you experienced way back in perimenopause may still continue on. That means hot flashes, night sweats, accelerated heart rate, sleep disturbances, insomnia, all those mood changes we mentioned, urinary issues, and vaginal dryness may persist. Due to the decreased levels of estrogen, the risk of heart disease, osteopenia, and osteoporosis goes up. Just because you’re entering the ending phase of menopause doesn’t mean you should quit giving yourself support. Take a peek at our supplements and offerings, Kindra has something to soothe whatever you’re experiencing at this unique stage of your evolution.
How long will menopause last?
There isn’t a perfect science to determine when menopause is over. Instead, we will offer some rough timelines to follow. The average length of time for perimenopause is about three years. Menopause is the time when you have not experienced a period for at least one year. Postmenopause is when you’ve been without a period for at least two years. You may still have symptoms, some of those pesky feelings may linger for the long term, but as a whole, you will start to feel your symptoms ease up after those two years. Sleep problems will subside. Your body will begin operating more smoothly. Perhaps daily hot flashes have decreased to occasional moments of heat. Night sweats may disturb you once a month, rather than every night. The greatest sign of menopause being over is when you begin to intuitively feel that your symptoms are slowing down. This means your hormone levels are likely starting to balance out.
Wait, I still may experience menopausal symptoms even postmenopause?
Yes. Your estrogen levels won’t suddenly stop changing after those one to two years with no menstrual period. Less estrogen can trigger more changes, but let’s see things through a different perspective. You’ve had a period for many years of your life. Easing into life without a period is a major transition for your body and the feelings associated with that change won’t dissipate after just one or two years. Your hormonal balance will continue fluctuating for many years in the postmenopause phase. This high and low of hormones will trigger menopause symptoms. That being said, if you’re still struggling with menopausal signals like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and the like for five years after your periods have stopped, it is time to see your doctor.
A note about Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormonal replacement therapy, or HRT, isn’t an option for everyone. However, some may use HRT during their evolution into midlife. If you are, then it is important to remain mindful that coming off of HRT can trigger menopausal signals. Therefore, everything we’ve talked about so far won’t perfectly apply to you, either. For example, if you’re in your late 60s and already went through menopause in your 50s, but are just now coming off of hormone replacement therapy, then you may get another wave of heavy menopause symptoms as you transition off of HRT. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but we’d be remiss not to acknowledge this aspect of hormonal fluctuations during menopause. Be sure to remain in close contact with your women's health professional when coming off of hormone therapy for maximum support.
How will you feel after menopause?
This is the best question of all because it is one full of hope. Boundless energy, laser focus, and increased libido are all waiting on the other side of menopause. Monthly menstrual cycles can be extremely draining and the hormonal changes involved with menopause may be equally exhausting, so there is a great chance that after menopause, you will feel better than ever before. No matter what phase you are in, it is important you are minding your health to ensure you feel your best. During the post-menopausal years is the average age where bone density falls thus increasing risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, weight gain happens, and blood pressure can rise. No need for alarm, it is just important that regular doctor appointments are maintained and lifestyle changes are implemented. A healthy diet that is full of plants is important. Rest is equally important. Regular exercise is also helpful to this evolution, so finding movement that you enjoy is key.
Our reminder to you…
You don’t have to go it alone! We created a Facebook group community of women on their menopause journey. From managing symptoms to enjoying intimacy during the Big Change, all topics are on the table in this group. We’d love to have you join us. If you’re feeling called to learn more about your specific symptoms, we have some resources here. Need immediate relief? Take a peek at what we’ve created specifically for the menopause evolution.