How Long Menopause Lasts—and When to Switch Multivitamins

3 min read
We dive into the science of menopause—including how long it lasts, and when you should switch to a postmenopausal multivitamin.
We dive into the science of menopause—including how long it lasts, and when you should switch to a postmenopausal multivitamin.

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The first thing to understand is that while we tend to use “menopause” as a catch-all term for the years-long process in which a woman stops getting her period, it’s actually not entirely accurate. If you want to get technical, perimenopause is the phase during which menstruation slows to a stop. When someone has stopped getting their period for a full year, that milestone is called “menopause”—and after that, they're in postmenopause. Make sense?

How long does this whole process last, though?

Now that we’ve broken things down into phases, it’s probably easy to understand that postmenopause is indefinite. So really, when we talk about how long menopause lasts, we’re referring specifically to perimenopause. The average age of a woman in menopause is 51, so typically, perimenopausal women begin to lose their period over the course of 3-5 years, in their late forties.*

This time might be marked by telltale physical signs. Much of these effects are byproducts of the hormonal changes your body is going through during this time.* (1)

Get some support

It’s crucial to remember that as the body goes through this transition, nutrient needs change, too. For starters, estrogen plays a role in supporting bone health, which is why we recommend looking for calcium-helper nutrients like vitamin D, boron, and vitamin K2 in a multivitamin. Women will typically need less iron after menstruation stops, and they’re more likely to meet their iron needs through their diet.*

Since nutrient needs are changing, it may be time to switch to a new multivitamin. Our recommendation: Essential for Women is designed to help fill gaps in your diet for women 18+. After menopause, make the switch to Essential for Women 50+, which is designed for women postmenopause.*

Speaking of nutrients: It's important to pay attention not only to micronutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals), but also macronutrients, like protein. Dietary protein serves many functions in the body, and consuming enough of it is essential for the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis. (As we get older, age-related muscle breakdown naturally increases—a process called anabolic resistance. Translation? Muscle protein synthesis becomes harder.) Since nutritional gaps can occur, even with a healthy diet, supplementing with a high-quality protein powder can be a good way to help mitigate that.

We formulated our Essential Protein 50+ with these changing protein needs in mind—and we even added calcium HMB for adults 50+ to further support the maintenance of muscle mass.*


  1. Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Dealing with… menopause. Retrieved from


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