When does perimenopause usually begin?

Mrs. Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Perimenopause, the transition toward menopause, and menopause itself actually form part of a gradual and continuous hormonal and metabolic shift that occurs as a woman ages. Perimenopause can last for several years, and generally begins in a woman's 40's. However in some women it begins in their 30's or 50's. The onset of perimenopause and eventually menopause itself signal great changes in your physical and emotional life. Though some women experience few symptoms, if you’re like the vast majority, you may have noticed the incremental shifts that come on for months and years before menopause sets in, this is perimenopause. These physical changes are often accompanied by psychological ones as you confront the realities of aging and try to deal with the mood shifts that often come along with hormonal change and hormonal imbalance.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

The average American woman enters menopause by age 51, but the hormone level shifts that trigger menopause can actually begin years, even decades earlier. Known as perimenopause, this condition can begin as early as age 35, and lasts anywhere from a few months to 10 years.

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Most women start to experience the natural changes of perimenopause in their 40s. For some, the changes begin earlier, in their mid-30s. Perimenopause usually lasts for several years. It officially ends when you have not had a menstrual period for one full year. At that point you are in menopause. On average, American women reach menopause at the age of 51.

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