Who can experience the menopause/menopause symptoms?
Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. It usually affects women between the ages of 45 and 55 but it can happen earlier.
It affects anyone who has periods.
Menopause can happen naturally, or for reasons such as surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) or the uterus (hysterectomy).
Menopause can occur because of cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
Menopause can occur for genetic reasons at any age.
Sometimes menopause can occur at any age and the reason is also unknown.
Menopause in transgender, non-binary, and intersex people
Trans women (women who were assigned male at birth) undertaking hormone therapy are likely to take this for life. They may experience menopausal-like symptoms, especially if their hormone therapy is interrupted or unstable.
Trans men (men who were assigned female at birth) will experience an age-related menopause process if they do not undertake hormone therapy and retain their ovaries. If trans men have their ovaries and uterus removed, they may experience a premature menopause. These symptoms are also affected by hormone therapies – for example, taking testosterone. This is important to remember as trans men may more commonly experience the menopause at an earlier age, which can add another barrier to seeking care and adjustment.
Non-binary people may also experience menopause, and these experiences will depend on a variety of factors including their sex assigned at birth and their medical treatments. While it is not appropriate to ask about these things, it is important to be aware of them and allow space for the individual to take the lead on the support and adjustments they may require.
Intersex people may also experience menopause, depending on a variety of factors including their sex assigned at birth and their medical treatments. While it is not appropriate to ask about these things, it is important to be aware of them and allow space for the individual to take the lead on the support and adjustments they may require.
Menopausal symptoms will be related to the individual’s age and the time in their life that they have undergone transition-related treatments. The menopause may also induce dysphoria for trans individuals (dysphoria is when a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their sex assigned at birth and their gender. This may be so intense it can lead to depression and anxiety and have a harmful impact on daily life). This should be considered when talking to trans and non-binary people about the menopause. If a trans, non-binary or intersex person does disclose their menopausal symptoms and their trans or intersex status, it is important that this information is not passed on to others without their consent. For trans people who have a gender recognition certificate it is illegal to disclose their trans status without consent.