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"At what age should I have a menopause consultation?"


I'm 50 and still get my period. Many of my female friends have stopped. Should I have a menopause consultation?


Menopause is the normal process by which women have a cessation of periods. I would recommend that you discuss this with your doctor. While this currently is not a problem, knowing what to expect is helpful.

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Menopause is defined as when a women has no periods for 1 year. The average age of menopause in women is 51. As such, you are currently not delayed. Even up to the age of 60 would be not unheard of to have continued periods. Keep in mind that the actual age of menopause depends on your ethnicity, health and habits. For example, smokers often have earlier menopause. The normal process is to first become "peri-menopausal." During this time, women begin to have irregular periods -- for example at varying intervals and with varying duration and bleeding amount. This can last for a few months to a few years. Subsequently periods stop. After 1 year with no periods a women is considered to have passed menopause. Any bleeding after this is considered concerning and should be evaluated. There are many other symptoms that can occur any time during the peri-menopausal or menopause time. This can include vaginal dryness, joint pain, hot flashes etc. Talk to your doctor for more information. Keep in mind other medical concerns occur for a 50 year old (mammograms, colonoscopy etc). Good luck!

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