It varies. Women normally go through menopause between ages 45 and 55. Many women experience menopause around age 51. However, perimenopause can start as early as age 35. It can last just a few months or a few years. There is no way to tell in advance how long it will last OR how long it will take you to go through it.
It could. Researchers are studying how depression in a woman's life affects the time she starts perimenopause. If you start perimenopause early, researchers don't know if you reach menopause faster than other women or if you're just in perimenopause longer.
We don't know exactly what causes hot flashes. It could be a drop in estrogen or change in another hormone. This affects the part of your brain that regulates your body temperature. During a hot flash, you feel a sudden rush of heat move from your chest to your head. Your skin may turn red, and you may sweat. Hot flashes are sometimes brought on by things like hot weather, eating hot or spicy foods, or drinking alcohol or caffeine. Try to avoid these things if you find they trigger the hot flashes.
Your mood changes could be caused by a lot of factors. Some researchers believe that the decrease in estrogen triggers changes in your brain causing depression. Others think that if you're depressed, irritable, and anxious, it's influenced by other symptoms you're having, such as sleep problems, hot flashes, night sweats, and fatigue-not hormonal changes. Or, it could be a combination of hormone changes and symptoms. Other things that could cause depression and/or anxiety include: