Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"At what average age do women start menopause?"
I'm a woman of 47 and I've been bleeding for nearly a month. I understand that this is a sign of menopause onsetting, but that worries me because I think I'm too young for that. What is the average age at which menopause begins? If it's not menopause, what could it be?
Menopause can be a time of significant physiologic, physical and emotional changes. In encourage you to talk to your primary doctor and / or your ob/gyn to help you with this process. Menopause is the cessation of the ovaries' function. Depending on your ethnicity, your expected age of menopause can vary, but 51-52 is the average age. If you are a smoker, it is expected that you will have menopause 2-3 years earlier than that average. That being said, the years preceding menopause is called peri-menopause. It is not uncommon for this phase to start in your early 40s. In this phase, your periods may become irregular. Being 47, it is not uncommon for you to enter peri-menopause. Of concern is the fact that you are having bleeding for a month. This is not a common symptom of menopause. Menopause is classically associated with hot flashes, fatigue, muscle pains and occasionally migraines. Irregular periods can be expected. Constant bleeding is not expected (although may be possible). Other causes of constant bleeding should be ruled out, including uterine cancer, bleeding disorders, or uterine fibroids. In addition, if you are bleeding large quantities this can be dangerous as a low blood count can affect all organs. I would see your primary doctor and discuss your symptoms to ensure this is menopause and not another process. If this is menopause, it is not unusually early.
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