When Does Menopause Start? 10 Early Signs

When Does Menopause Start? 10 Early Signs

Written and Reviewed by Dr. Uzma Qureshi
Published on: 29/05/2024
When Does Menopause Start

When does menopause start? It’s a question that keeps popping up in the minds of countless women, like you, as they grow older. Menopause is a big shift in every woman’s life, but it’s not always easy to pinpoint when or how it begins.

Imagine waking up one day feeling different, maybe more tired than usual, or noticing changes in your period cycle. These could be signs that you’re heading towards menopause. Menopause evokes a range of emotions, including feelings of worry and confusion.

Menopause is a transition every woman goes through, but it can feel mysterious. If you’re also puzzled about the  signs you should look out for in the beginning, you are in the right place. Moreover, explore bonus tips to help you for a smoother transition.

Here are the 10 Signs Telling You ‘When Does Menopause Start’

1. Missing periods

2. Change in period’s blood flow

3. Hot flashes

4. Vaginal dryness/itching

5. Night sweats

6. Sleep disturbance

7. Mood swings

8. Low sex drive

9. Fatigue

10. Hair thinning

Let’s explore these signals of when menopause begins in detail:

1. Missing Periods

One of the earliest signs of menopause is irregular periods. You might notice your menstrual cycles becoming less predictable. They may come early or even miss a month. It all happens because of fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone essential female sex hormones. 

2. Change in Period’s Blood Flow

When Does Menopause Begin
Image By Freepik

When oestrogen levels change in your body, the flow of your periods may  also change, becoming lighter or heavier than usual. You might also experience shorter or longer periods of bleeding. 

3. Hot Flashes

In the early menopause, you may feel a sudden and intense heat wave, spreading through your upper body, particularly your face, neck, chest and back. Your face becomes red, and this feeling may last for 3-4 minutes. Oestrogen fluctuation makes your body sensitive to slight temperature changes that eventually cause such episodes.

4. Vaginal Dryness/Itching

Hormonal changes alter your vaginal environment. It affects the secretion, tissue health and bacteria living there.  Your vaginal tissues may become drier and less flexible, leading to discomfort, itching, and an increased risk of infection. You may not enjoy intercourse during that period. Remember, lubricants and vaginal moisturisers can help.

5. Night Sweats

Similar to hot flashes, night sweats are episodes of intense sweating during the night while you are asleep. You may wake up drenched in sweat and feel anxious. All of this happens due to reduced oestrogen levels.

6. Sleep Disturbance

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep may become more common. Night sweats, fatigue and other symptoms might contribute to frequent waking and poor sleep quality. It may compromise your overall health.

7. Mood Swings

At What Age Does Menopause Start
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Sudden changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels can affect your mood, leading to sudden and unexplained changes in emotions, including anxiety or depression. You may also feel a loss of concentration or get irritated more often and easily.

8. Low Sex Drive

A decrease in sexual desire is common during menopause, often linked to hormonal changes. Also, compromised vaginal flexibility and dryness may make you hesitate to make sexual contact. 

9. Fatigue

Menopause fatigue may feel like waking up tired, persistent  drowsiness and low energy. All of this can make it difficult to maintain your usual level of activity, affecting your overall quality of life.

10. Hair Thinning

when does a woman start menopause
Image by Freepik

Hormonal changes during menopause can lead to thinning hair on the scalp. You might also notice an increase in hair loss or changes in hair texture.

If you experience any of these menopause symptoms severely, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider for prompt management.

At What Age Does Menopause Start? Average Age of Menopause

There is no fixed age, but according to research, you may start your menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 years considered a normal aspect of aging biologically.

When Does Perimenopause Start?

Perimenopause, according to the NHS UK, can begin as early as your 20s or as late as your 30s. In the UK, most women reach menopause around 51 years of age. However, about 1 in 100 women goes through menopause before they turn 40. In rare cases, some women may start menopause in their 30s or even before. 

Bonus Tips to Manage Menopause Symptoms

Follow these tips to manage your bothersome symptoms and enjoy a better menopause transition:

  • Educate yourself more about menopause.
  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain your weight.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Avoid processed and high-fat foods.
  • Encourage better sleep.
  • Dress up in layers.
  • Use herbal supplements 
  • Manage your stress. 
  • Talk to your doctors and family when you need help.

Now, Hope You Know ‘When Does Menopause Begin’!

Menopause usually happens between ages 45 and 56, but it can start earlier or later. Common signs include missing periods, changes in menstrual flow, hot flashes, and mood swings. Recognising these symptoms helps you prepare for and manage them better.

If your symptoms are severe, talk to a healthcare provider for menopause treatment. Simple lifestyle changes like eating healthy, exercising, and managing stress can also help ease symptoms.

Every woman’s menopause experience is unique. Understanding your body and symptoms is key to a smoother transition. Stay informed, seek support, and embrace this new chapter with confidence.


1. How do you know when menopause starts?

You’ll know menopause has started when your periods change or stop altogether. Look out for irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

2. When does menopause end?

Menopause ends when you do not have periods for a year. No periods happen, but you are experiencing symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, etc.

3. What is the average age at the end of menopause?

It typically begins between ages 45 and 55 and lasts for seven to 14 years. However, factors such as smoking, age at onset, and race or ethnicity influence the duration of the menopausal transition.

4. What causes an early menopause?

  • Removal of both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy)
  • Cancer treatments (chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • Certain medications (for advanced uterine diseases)

5. How does menopause affect the heart?

Oestrogen maintains a balance between good and bad cholesterol while also relaxing your blood vessels. When there is not enough oestrogen, cholesterol tends to build up in the arteries, causing heart disease.

6. Why do oestrogen levels fluctuate during menopause?

Ovaries are responsible for producing oestrogen in you. As you age, it has fewer sacs, so your ovaries produce less oestrogen. This decline in ovarian function is a natural process, and oestrogen drops ultimately lead to menopause. 

7. Does the risk of stroke increase after menopause starts?

Every decade after you reach 55, the risk of stroke doubles. It also occurs when cholesterol builds up in the vessels.

8. How do I know I’m experiencing perimenopause?

You may be experiencing perimenopause if you notice irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood changes. Consulting a healthcare provider for confirmation and guidance is recommended.

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