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When your body stops making estrogen and your periods have stopped, you’re probably in menopause. Menopause happens on average around the age of 51. It signals the end of the reproductive years and the end of periods.

However, menopause is not a sudden occurrence for most women. Perimenopause begins in the 30s or 40s with fluctuating levels of estrogen that can result in skipped, light or heavy periods. When your periods are absent for a year, you’re considered to be in menopause. We sometimes use a blood test to confirm menopause. On the journey from perimenopause to menopause, many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, vaginal dryness, urinary tract irritation, and/or increased vaginal and urinary tract infections. Menopause also can contribute to bone loss, fractures and osteoporosis. You may experience very few or several of these symptoms. If perimenopause or menopause is causing you difficulties, Women First can help assess your symptoms and offer some options for relief.

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