Aging & Health A to Z
Basic Facts & Information
As women get older, they’re less likely to get regular gynecological care. Gynecology is the medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive system, which includes the ovaries, uterus, and vagina. Women of child-bearing age are the most likely to get regular care, followed by women in their forties through mid-60s. Those 65 and older are least likely to get regular care. But it shouldn’t be this way. Even after a woman’s reproductive years are well behind her, regular gynecological care is still very important. It can improve the quality of your life. And it could save your life.
What are perimenopause and menopause?
Many people use the word “menopause” when referring to the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods become irregular. She may also have uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes. But that point in a woman’s life is correctly called “perimenopause.”
On average, women in the US begin perimenopause in their mid- to late-40s, about four years before they reach menopause. It’s only after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period that she has officially reached menopause, and is “post-menopausal.” In the United States, the average age at which women reach menopause is 51.
Updated: March 2012
Posted: March 2012