Most women willexperience some symptoms around the menopause. The duration andseverity of thesesymptoms varies from woman to woman.
Symptomsusually starta few months or years beforeyour Periods stop, known asthe perimenopause, andcan persist for some time afterwards.
On average, mostsymptoms last around four years from your last period. However, around1 in every10 women experience them for up to 12 years.
If you experience the menopause suddenly rather than graduallyfor example, as a result of cancer treatmentyour symptoms may be worse.
The first sign of the menopauseis usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods.
You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods .
The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have one every two or three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.
Eventually, you'll stop having periods altogether.
About 8 in every 10 women will haveadditional symptoms for some time before and after their periods stop.
Thesecan have a significant impact on daily life for some women.
The menopause can also increase your risk of developing certain other problems, such as weak bones (osteoporosis) .
See your GP if you're finding your symptoms particularly troublesome, as treatments are available. Read about how to manage symptoms of the menopause .
The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally. Read more about the symptoms, causes and treatments.
Find out about the different symptoms of the menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats, loss of libido, a change in monthly periods and vaginal dryness.
Read about the main treatments for symptoms of the menopause, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the alternatives.