In Australia, the average age of menopause (the last menstrual period) is 52. It can happen in women aged 40-60 and in very few cases, it can happen earlier. It's most common in women aged 45-55.
During this time, the ovaries start to make less oestrogen (a female sex hormone) and periods usually become erratic (less regular) before stopping. Women often have other symptoms such as hot flushes, sore joints, low libido and vaginal dryness.
During this time it is important to take care of your general health by maintaining a healthy diet and high calcium intake (to help prevent loss of bone density), exercising, and having regular health checks, including mammograms and Pap tests.
During menopause women should also consider contraception, because you're not considered infertile until:
- a year after your last period, if you're aged over 50 when you have your last period
- two years after your last period, if you're aged under 50 when you have your last period.
Organisations that specialise in this area of reproductive and/or sexual health
- Visit Jean Hailes
Where to get more information, support or advice
- Contact your local doctor (GP)
- Contact Family Planning Victoria's clinics