You reach menopause when you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. In the US that is typically about 51 years of age. Menopause is best diagnosed based on your medical history and symptoms. Expensive lab tests are not needed to confirm your menopause status, and the tests are very inaccurate.
As you move into menopause, you are likely experiencing some symptoms that you had during perimenopause such as weight gain around the tummy, anxiety, hot flashes and mood changes. Besides the complete cessation of a period, this is when you will start to really notice the changes in your skin (wrinkles and drooping), hair (brittle and thinning), and accelerated weight gain.