We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting statistics about menopause. Take a look at these surprising realities surrounding this too-seldom discussed phase of life.
1. A Growing Demographic
It's estimated that in the year 1998, there were 477 million post-menopausal women in the world. That number is expected to more than double, to a projected 1.1 billion post-menopausal women in the world by the year 2025.
2. Not The End Of A Healthy Sex Life
Studies show that as many as 75 percent of menopausal and post-menopausal women do not feel less attractive because of menopause. In fact, many women report a sort of sexual liberation, without having to consider potential pregnancy as a result of their sexual activity.
3. 8 Out Of 100 Women Cease Menstruation Before The Age Of 40
Menopause officially occurs one calendar year after the last menstrual cycle. Reaching this point before the age of 40 is considered premature, but with 8 percent of women experiencing this pattern, it is hardly uncommon.
4. 5% Of Women Continue Menstruating Until Almost 60
As you can see, the timeline for menopause can vary greatly from woman to woman. While 8 percent of women experience menopause before the age of 40, 5 percent of women do not officially hit this mark until almost sixty. That’s a gap of over 20 years.
5. The Average Age Of Menopause Is 51
The previous two items on this list mention the outliers for the age of menopause, and they demonstrate that the experiences of menopausal women can vary dramatically. But if you want to know a little about the typical experience (If there is such a thing), then you should know that the average age of menopause is 51 years old.
6. Menopause? No Problem
Menopause is a completely normal part of a woman’s life cycle, not a disease that has to be lived with. Of women who have experienced menopause, 80 percent say that they do not experience any decrease in their quality of life, and most (62 percent) are positive about the change.
7. Menopausal Doesn’t Mean Old
With modern lifespans it's important to reevaluate how we think about menopause in the normal life cycle. The average life span of a woman in the United States is 84 years. That means that many women will spend a full half of their lives as post-menopausal.
8. How Long Does It Last?
As with the age of onset, the duration of menopause is subject to a fair amount of variation. For some women, the process can last a decade, and for others, the change is best measured in terms of months. For most women, however, the menopausal transition lasts about 4 years.
9. Smoking Has An Impact
The effects of smoking are famously far-reaching, and menopause is not an exception. It is reported that smoking can actually bring menopause about earlier than it would have normally begun. In fact, the average age of menopause for a smoker is 1.5 years earlier than for a non-smoker.
10. Decreased Bone Density
One of the unfortunate effects of falling hormone levels, and estrogen in particular, is that bone density does take a hit. Half of all women will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. And 80 percent of people diagnosed with osteoporosis in the United States are women.
It's important to be aware of this potential health risk, and to guard against bone loss with exercise and diet that support strong, healthy bones.