Ask the Experts

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: April 16, 2012

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Dr Verna McKenzie

Our experts Dr. Mache Seibel, Karen Giblin, Dr. Michael Goodman, Dr. Mary Jane Minkin and Dr. Verna Brooks McKenzie field questions from our members. Submit your question.

Dear Red Hot Mamas Experts,

How long do menopause symptoms last once they start?

Thank you,


Dear K,

Unfortunately no one can predict how long menopausal symptoms last. They typically begin when a women is perimenopausal. The average age when perimenopause begins is 47. It is during this time that women have breast tenderness, headaches, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness and a host of other symptoms. But the way we experience menopause is as unique as our fingerprints. Symptoms are typically worse during perimenopause and for 2 years following the onset of menopause. Menopause typically occurs around age 51 give or take 5 years. Symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats may abate on their own once your body adjusts to the lowering of estrogen. However, some women complain of hot flashes many years after menopause. Again, we are all unique.

I always recommend to women to try to avoid stress as much as possible. Allow yourself some time and space. Perhaps it could be working quietly in the garden, taking a walk, just to release daily tensions. Another thing that truly helps is daily exercise as it raises endorphin levels, leading to a greater feeling of well-being. It also helps keep our weight stable, raises our good cholesterol, keeping our hearts healthy and preventing osteoporosis. And, it also helps greatly with reducing sleep problems. Also, its important for you to choose a good diet. One that is rich is vegetables, fruits, non-fat dairy products, nuts. I prefer a Mediterranean diet. Also, it’s important to take calcium and Vitamin D. And, of course, always refrain from smoking.

Good Health to You!

Red Hot Mamas Experts