I had a doctor’s appointment last month and was diagnosed as postmenopausal, which, considering I’ve just turned 44, would put me in the Early Menopause category experienced by five per cent of women.
I have been ticking off perimenopausal symptoms for a year or so now, and my periods have been absent for months, but I was still shocked. Postmenopausal? That didn’t sound quite right.
When I managed to find my words again, I asked about HRT. He said I wouldn't need hormone replacement therapy because menopause is "a natural process".
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I needed a second opinion and arranged a Zoom call with Dr. Linda Dear, a registered Menopause Practitioner who also runs the website MenoDoc.
How do you know it’s menopause?
“Menopause is when you haven’t had your period for one year or longer. You then have to track back to the date of that last period and this is your Menopause moment - everything that happens after this date is then called Post-Menopause” – MenoDoc website.
I discovered “postmenopausal” is a slightly premature call for me. It’s certainly likely I’m experiencing an early menopause, but officially your periods need to have stopped for an entire year to be considered postmenopausal. Only then can you say you’ve definitely gone through the menopause transition.
I’m on day 233 with no periods. It’s likely, but not official just yet.
The average age for menopause is 51, but any time between 45 and around 55 is considered normal.