You reach menopause when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. In the US, this typically occurs at around 51 years of age. Where you are in the menopause transition is best diagnosed based on your medical history and symptoms. Hormone tests are often inaccurate, so expensive lab tests are not needed to confirm your menopause status.
As you move into menopause, you are likely experiencing symptoms that began during perimenopause, like weight gain around the tummy, anxiety, hot flashes and mood changes. Besides the complete cessation of a period, this time is when you will start to notice changes in your skin (wrinkles and drooping) and hair (brittle and thinning), as well as accelerated weight gain.