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How long can symptoms of menopause last?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health

New data suggest that menopause symptoms last longer than previously believed. The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation followed women for more than 23 years. When looking only at the women who had symptoms, the mean duration of symptoms was 7.4 years with the symptoms continuing 4.5 years after menstrual periods stopped. If women began having hot flashes even before their periods stopped, then the mean length of symptoms was even longer at 11.1 years. Women of African descent (African American) had the longest duration of symptoms with a mean of 10.1 years. This information is very helpful to women in making decisions on how to manage symptoms of menopause.

For most women, menopause symptoms last for a relatively short time. However, a woman's level of estrogen naturally remains low after menopause. This can affect many parts of the body, including the sexual and urinary organs, the heart and bones. So in that sense, the changes of menopause will be lifelong. But eating right, exercising and making other positive lifestyle changes can help you feel great and live a long, healthy life after menopause.

In most cases, the average length of symptoms of menopause can last about one to three years.

Dr. Tara I. Allmen, MD
Gynecologist

Symptoms of menopause can last for many, many years; anywhere from 7 to 20 years, in some cases. In this video, OBGYN specialist Tara Allmen, MD, discusses how long menopause can last, and shares a list of the main symptoms women can expect.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.