SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Menopause means the end of monthly periods.
- You can get pregnant around the time of menopause, so continue using contraception until you haven’t had a period for at least one year.
- It’s important to have regular health checks, as ageing and lower levels of oestrogen can increase your risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
- If symptoms of menopause affect your quality of life, talk to your doctor.
- Continue to have regular breast checks and cervical screening tests.
What is menopause?
Menopause is when you have your final period. You have reached menopause if you haven’t had a period or spotting for 12 months.
Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. In Australia, the average age to reach menopause is 51 to 52.
Menopause can happen naturally at the expected age or early.
‘Perimenopause’ is the time leading up to menopause.
What causes menopause?
As you approach menopause, your hormones (e.g. oestrogen and progesterone) go up and down. These changes can lead to different symptoms.
Symptoms of menopause
Changing hormone levels can cause different symptoms. Menopause is different for everyone. Some women have no symptoms at all, while others have symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. Your experience can also be affected by what is happening in your life, and your general health and wellbeing.
Common physical symptoms include:
Common emotional symptoms include:
There are many ways to manage menopause. It may take time to find a strategy that works for you.
- using a hand fan or water spray when you feel hot
- wearing layered clothing so you can remove clothes when you feel hot
- relaxation classes like yoga and meditation.
Therapies and medicines
You can reduce menopausal symptoms with:
- – this is the most effective therapy to relieve many symptoms
- medicines, such as antidepressants, which can reduce hot flushes and sweating
- natural therapies.
Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of these therapies and medicines.
Take care of your emotional health
It’s normal to experience different emotions around the time of menopause. There are many ways to take care of your emotional health. For example, having a healthy lifestyle and taking time to do things you enjoy. You can also talk to a or try to help manage your symptoms and emotional wellbeing.
Where to get help
- European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, Guideline on the management of premature ovarian insufficiency
- Jaspers L, Daan NM, van Dijk GM, Gazibara T, Muka T, Wen KX et al. Health in middle-aged and elderly women: A conceptual framework for healthy menopause. Maturitas. 2015 May;81(1):93–8. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.02.010.
- Linton A, Golobof A, Shulmanl P. Contraception for the perimenopausal woman. Climacteric. 2016;19(6):526–34.
- Nonhormonal management of menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms: 2015 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause 2015 22(11):1155–72; quiz 73–4.
- Roberts, H., & Hickey, M. (2016). Managing the menopause: An update.Maturitas,86, 53–58.
- Stojanovska L, Apostolopoulos V, Polman R, Borkoles E. To exercise, or, not to exercise, during menopause and beyond. Maturitas. 2014 Apr;77(4):318-23. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Jan 24. PMID: 24548848.
- The 2022 hormone therapy position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2022 Jul 1;29(7):767-794. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000002028. PMID: 35797481