Women may experience menopause symptoms anywhere from two to seven years. As menopause is genetically affected, it is helpful to chat with female family members: sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and cousins. It is very likely that they may have experienced a similar hormonal journey to yours.
As women we are similar yet very different. No two women have the same periods or pregnancies. Hence all women will not have an identical menopause journey. It is therefore important to know that there can be a wide variation both in intensity and duration of menopausal symptoms.
For example, some women may never experience night sweats or hot flushes, whilst others may be burdened with these very symptoms decades after periods have stopped.
How Long Do Menopause Symptoms and Hot Flushes Last?
The most intense symptoms — typically period changes and night sweats — last for approximately four years, and they tend to feel the worst during the perimenopause transition.
Studies have shown that some women experience hot flushes that can last up to 10 years. However, this is one end of the extreme. Those women who get vasomotor symptoms, i.e. night sweats and hot flushes after the last period rather than before, tend to have shorter suffering, on average three and a half years.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell which end of the spectrum an individual woman will be. There is no denying that these symptoms can prove to be very distressing and can impact on our self-esteem, relationships, productivity, focus and sleep, to name but a few sequelae.
The key thing to remember is that menopause is the beginning of a new physiological phase of our lives and we have to decide how we will live it. We have to be aware of the choices we have and the losses we can suffer if we do not reflect on those choices. The changes will be forever and how you will be affected will be a matter dependent on your genetics, lifestyle, diet, weight and hormone therapy.
To read more about the symptoms of menopause and how to cope with your hormonal changes, visit this page.