What is the cause of late menopause

Menopause: duration

The restructuring of the hormonal balance at the end of a woman's fertile phase of life is a process that takes place in different phases.

The first changes in the hormonal balance take place before the onset of the actual menopause in the premenopause.

The perimenopause and postmenopause phases together make up the actual menopause. The transition between these two phases is marked by menopause. The menopause is the time of the last menstrual period.


From the age of 40, the female body begins with the first preparations at the end of the fertile phase of life. It begins to reduce the production of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. Both hormones affect the cycle. Therefore, in this phase, the cycles can be shorter or longer and the menstrual periods become irregular.


Shortly before the very last menstrual period, the body starts the decisive phase in the restructuring of the hormonal balance. First, the amount of the luteal hormone progesterone becomes significantly less, so that the body has to deal with a temporary excess of the hormone estrogen. During this time, water may be retained, for example, which suddenly shows a few kilos more on the scales.

Later in the perimenopause, the body reduces the production of estrogen so that estrogen and progesterone are again in the same proportion. If the body stops functioning of the ovaries, the proportion of both hormones in the body drops sharply overall. Finally, if ovulation no longer takes place, the period does not occur. The very last menstrual period is called menopause.

While the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are hardly produced in this phase, the amount of the male hormone testosterone in the body remains the same. The increasing level of testosterone changes the appearance of the body. Feminine curves on the buttocks and hips become less and love handles migrate - typically male - towards the stomach.

Post menopause

If the last menstrual period was 12 months ago, the ovaries have now completely and definitely stopped working. It starts the last phase of menopause. In the postmenopause, the body makes the final adjustments in the composition of the hormones so that the hormone balance finds a new and stable equilibrium.

Natural fluctuations

Very few women go through these phases clearly delimited from one another. The ovaries can flare up again and again during menopause, which is briefly accompanied by a renewed production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. It can then too Fluctuations with menopausal symptoms and intermenstrual bleeding.

Only when the last menstrual period has been 12 months can women safely assume that they are no longer fertile - and for example do without contraception.