But this isn’t the case for many people and every experience is unique.
Periods often grind to a halt between the ages of 39 and 59, but menopause can come earlier or later.
GP Dr Louise Newson told Medical News Today: “Our hormones deplete because our eggs run out in our ovaries. And when they run out, hormones associated with them go down.”
Menopause symptoms vary dramatically and go largely unreported, so people can be confused when strange things start happening to their body.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Dr Newson said: “Symptoms can start sometimes just for a few days before each period, and then it can be a week or 2 weeks, and then all the time. It’s quite a transient process that often worsens with time.”
Medical information company Everyday Health has provided a list of lesser-known symptoms that can affect women going through menopause such as, a loss of breast fullness, insomnia, dry and itchy skin, a metallic taste in your mouth, thinning hair, memory and problem-solving issues, dry mouth and dental problems, body odour, dry and brittle nails, feeling lightheaded or dizziness, and vaginal pain.
They also highlight the difference between symptoms that are easier to spot and those that are more likely to go under the radar.
More noticeable symptoms include:
- Body odour
- Breast tenderness
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Dry mouth and dental problems
- Dry skin
- Hair loss or thinning hair
- Inability to concentrate
- Irregular periods
- Loss of breast fullness
- Mood changes
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Night sweats
- Skipped periods
- Sleep problems or insomnia
- Vaginal dryness and itching
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
However, there are some issues that can be harder to notice which can lead to health complications.
- Blood pressure
- Blood-clotting proteins
- Glucose intolerance
- LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
- Total cholesterol