Menopause is a process in women that marks the end of fertility and of the menstrual cycle. In this sense it can be thought of as almost the ‘opposite’ of puberty, and just like puberty if can be a difficult time causing hormone imbalances, hot flushes, headache, high heart rate and the development of (yet more) hair.
The beginning of the menopause is signaled when a woman’s menstrual cycle becomes irregular (small irregularities are common, here you need to measure it against what is normal for you). Here the time between each menstruation will get longer and longer until eventually it ceases all together. As the menopause can be quite a drawn out and unpleasant experience for some, it is highly helpful – and relieving – to be able to identify the signals that mark the end of the menopause. Here are some signs that it is coming to an end…
You haven’t menstruated in a year
Count the number of months that have passed since your last menstruation. If you have had 12 consecutive months with no menstruation then this is generally accepted as marking the end of menstruation. Unfortunately this goes back to zero if you have a period before the 12 months are over.
The doctor determines that you have finished
If you are unsure whether your menopause is over, then you should see a doctor who can give you a physical exam and a blood test and as a result will be able to tell you what stage of the menopause you are at. If you have not finished your menopause then a doctor might also be able to indicate roughly how long you might expect until it does finish.
Take a blood test
A blood test can also tell you whether your menopause is at an end. This is because they can look for follicle-stimulating hormones (FHS). This hormone regulates the reproductive process and so is partly responsible for ending fertility. If you have more than 50 units per liter of blood, then this should also signal the end of the menopause.