Most people in the UK reach the menopause between 45 and 55, with the average age being 51. But the timing of the menopause varies. Some people over 55 still have periods.
It could be. If you’re having hot flushes and aren’t sure whether these are caused by the menopause, talk to your GP. There can be a number of reasons for your symptoms. Your GP may recommend blood tests to check for causes of your symptoms. If your GP thinks you’re going through a premature menopause, they’ll probably refer you to a gynaecologist for further tests.
Doctors say that a person is in the menopause when they have had no periods for 12 months, usually between the ages of 45 and 55. This is unless there is some other reason for the loss of your periods, such as certain medical treatments.
The typical signs and symptoms of the menopause include:
- irregular periods
- hot flushes
- mood swings
- loss of sexual desire
For more information, see our section on symptoms of the menopause.
Hot flushes are a common symptom of the menopause. You may have a sudden feeling of heat in your face, neck and chest that spreads to the rest of your body. It usually lasts just a few minutes then goes away. At the same time you may sweat, feel anxious or feel your heart beating irregularly (palpitations).
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Reviewed by Dr Kristina Routh, Freelance Health Editor, July 2022 Expert reviewers, Dr Madhavi Vellayan, Consultant Gynaecologist and Samantha Wild, Bupa GP and Women’s Health Lead Next review due July 2025