You’re over age 42
Being in perimenopause encompasses a much larger part of a woman’s life than the more common “menopause,” says Christine Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. “Menopause simply means after a woman’s final period,” she explains. The average age of menopause is 52; perimenopause describes the hormonal transitions leading up to that, and can be a decade-long process. If you’re younger than 42 and experiencing perimenopause symptoms, doctors will deem it premature (and likely investigate other causes) but if you’re over 42? It’s completely normal, natural, and, Dr. Northrup adds, not a bad thing. In fact, being in perimenopause can be a very positive experience for women.