Despite the permanent nature of hormonal changes in menopause, symptoms such as hot flushes go away with time, usually over the course of 3–5 years (although they may continue for decades in some women).Some symptoms such as thinning of the lining of the vagina (genital atrophy) continue throughout the post-menopausal period, and may worsen with time.Post-menopause is the time dating from the FMP, and applies whether menopause occurs naturally, or whether it is due to surgery or another intervention. Early post-menopause refers to the first five years after the FMP.During this stage, there may be ongoing and complete loss of function of the ovaries, and the density (and strength) of a woman’s bones is quickly lost due to the lack of oestrogen.For some, it causes very little disruption to her life with no symptoms, and for others there are severe disabling symptoms with significant disruption to quality of life.
Late menopause (after the age of 55) takes place in 5% of women.
Early menopause (between 40 and 45 years) occurs in 5% of women.
Premature menopause or ‘premature ovarian failure’ (before the age of 40) is experienced by approximately 1% of women.
Late post-menopause begins 5 years after the FMP, and continues for as long as the woman lives.
All women who live long enough will experience menopause.