The menopause timeline: What to expect from each stage

There are three stages of the menopause [Photo: Getty]

Despite being one of the major life events in the biology of being a woman, the menopause is still considered a taboo topic. 

As a result many women are going into menopause feeling fearful of how it will impact their lives.

New research by menopause expert Maryon Stewart, has revealed that 96% of the 1,100 women surveyed felt unprepared for the menopause, while 29% feel overwhelmed or confused.

As well as feeling unprepared, the survey also highlighted that women are suffering in silence, with 71% finding it difficult to discuss their menopause, 58% struggling to speak to their partner and 35% even finding it hard to talk to their friends.

Further research has revealed that there has been a 37% spike in online searching for the menopause in the last three years, with some of the biggest ranking searches last year relating to symptoms, age to expect it and treatment.

It seems that women are being left woefully underprepared for a process that can begin as early as their 40s and take-up up to twenty years to resolve.

“For taboos around the subject to fall away, we need to provide support and information to these women and all women, starting with the fundamentals: explaining what menopause actually is,” says Gervase Fay, co-founder Health & Her®an online platform designed to support women through the menopause with qualified and independent, expert advice. 

With that in mind here’s everything you need to know about the menopause, from the three stages and early symptoms to treatments and what to expect.

Mood swings are another symptom of both peri-menopause and the menopause [Photo: Getty]