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At what age does menstruation stop?

Menstruation usually stops around age 50 to 52, but can occur earlier. Watch Sonia Ceballos, MD, of MountainView Hospital, explain the process and timing of menopause.
At What Age Does Menstruation Stop?
On average, menstruation will stop around age 51, says Sangeeta Sinha, MD, from StoneSprings Hospital Center, though it could stop before or after then. Find out what factors affect its cessation in this short video.
At What Age Does Menstruation Stop?
The stopping of menstruation is called menopause. The average age for menopause is 51 years old, but some women will have it a year or two earlier, and some will have it a year or two later. Early menopause is possible, and can happen in a woman’s mid-to-early 40s.

Menopause occurs when the ovaries, which usually make estrogen along with other hormones, stop producing estrogen. Prior to that, women experience something called perimenopause, which are the years leading up to menopause. Some present with skipped periods or a change in flow—either lighter or heavier. It's normal to expect some changes in your bleeding in the latter half of your 40s, but it's still a good idea to talk to your doctor about any changes or abnormalities.
 
Once a woman begins going through perimenopause, she may start to get symptoms. These symptoms vary from person to person and even from culture to culture. Some women will skip cycles for a couple of months at a time during perimenopause, but if a woman experiences 12 months straight without a cycle during this time, that's menopause. The main symptom of menopause is, of course, no periods for 12 months straight.
 
Other symptoms of perimenopause include hot flashes, which also vary from person to person. Flashes could last a few seconds or several minutes, and occasionally occur at night, which may cause difficulty sleeping. Some women will also experience hormonal changes that might affect their mood, causing depression, anger or impatience.
 
Menopause also causes changes to the vagina. A woman’s vagina may become a little thinner, a little dryer and a little less elastic without estrogen. Lack of estrogen may also affect the urethra, which is located right above the vagina, causing it to become dry and inflamed. This may cause some pain with intercourse.
 
Bone loss also starts to increase with menopause. Once estrogen levels decrease, the bone will start to deteriorate gradually, which can lead to osteopenia, which is weakness of bone, or osteoporosis. Bone loss occurs predominantly in the hips, wrists and spine, which can be very dangerous, as a hip fracture could really change a woman's lifestyle.

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Menstruation usually stops permanently when a woman reaches her early fifties. This stage of the menstruation cycle is called menopause and marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. Hormonal and physical changes that prepare your body for menopause may begin years before your experience your last period. Menstruation can also stop because of illness or as a result of surgery so consult a doctor if you do not menstruate for more than three months.

Continue Learning about Menstruation

Menstruation

Menstruation

The menstrual cycle can vary from women to women. Some get their period on the same day every month, while others have irregular cycles, a heavy flow, painful cramps or PMS. Learn more about menstrual problems from our experts.

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.