Last updated: October 14, 2021

Menopause is a very popular name, but have you ever heard of climacterium? This term, although little known, is more familiar in this phase of women than it seems. Want to learn more about its meaning? Stay with us until the end of this complete guide.

Here you will learn what is climacterium, its phases, symptoms and how it differs from menopause. Let's go!


  • Climacterium is a period which marks the transition from a woman's reproductive and non-reproductive phase.
  • It is different from menopause, although many people confuse the terms. Today we will explain the differences.
  • The climacteric period can be divided into three phases: pre-menopause, menopause and post-menopause.

Learn everything about menopause to better deal with this moment

Did you know that menopause happens at some point during menopause? It is nothing more than the end of women's menstrual period. The climacteric period is the transition from this period. But calm down, we will explain it better throughout this article. Just follow us until the end!

Imagem mostra mulher no telefone

The climacteric period may start long before the menopause itself, causing symptoms such as headache. (Source: Karolina Grabowska /

What is the climacteric period?

The climacteric period marks the transition period of a woman's reproductive phase. Therefore, from the first symptoms until the end of the reproductive cycle is the period called climacteric.

Scientifically speaking, it is the gradual reduction of ovarian follicles, responsible for ovulation at each menstrual cycle.

As the years go by, ovulation stops as there are no more follicles to produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, thus ending the phase in which a woman can have a baby.

What is the difference between climacteric and menopause?

Although both are confused and often used as synonyms, menopause is a part of climacteric. In other words, it happens within this period.

Menopause is nothing more than the end of menstruation. Since during this phase the menstrual cycle becomes irregular and can be separated for months, menopause is only declared when the woman has not menstruated for 12 consecutive months.

Did you know?
The average Brazilian woman goes through menopause when she is 51 years old. When it happens before the age of 50, we call it early menopause.

The climacteric period encompasses the entire period of change in the female reproductive phase and is divided into three phases, as we will see later on.

Therefore, what we call menopause symptoms are actually climacteric symptoms. And they happen exactly because of the drop in the production of estrogen and progesterone.

Among the most common, we can mention heat waves, night sweats, mood changes, insomnia, tiredness, headache, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, among others.

Close em olhos femininos fechados com lágrimas correndo

Mood changes and stress are climacteric symptoms, but it is necessary to talk to the gynecologist if they are frequent. (Source: Karolina Grabowska /

When does the climacteric period start?

The climacteric period starts with the pre menopause, also called perimenopause. It is the first signs of the fall of female hormones, indicating that the reproductive phase begins its change.

It is common that it starts shortly after the age of 40.

It can happen at different ages, but it is common that it starts shortly after the age of 40. This period can last months or years, depending on each woman.

The average is that it lasts for four years. During this phase the menstrual cycle can already begin to change.

What are the different phases of the climacteric period?

The phase mentioned above, premenopause, is the first phase of the climacteric period. It is followed by menopause and post menopause. We have made a table to explain this phenomenon which is divided in three phases.

Premenopause Menopause Postmenopause
What it is Beginning of the natural fall of female hormones End of the release of new eggs and the menstrual cycle Period in which the climacteric symptoms remain, even with the end of menstruation
What causes Menstrual irregularity and the beginning of common symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness and reduced libido Increase in the symptoms already mentioned and the emergence of other possible ones May cause bone health problems, because of the significant drop in estrogen
How long it lasts May start by age 40, in some cases earlier, and last for up to 10 years. The average time is 4 years It usually happens around age 50 and is enacted by the absence of menstruation for 12 months in a row It can last for another decade after menopause

How long does the climacteric period last?

Considering the total time of all the climacteric phases, this phenomenon can last about 20 years. However, it is necessary to clarify that this is an average. Each woman evolves differently between the phases mentioned, and it can be longer or shorter.

As the climacteric period starts around 40 years of age, it is expected that after 60 years the woman will be free of menopause symptoms.

How to treat climacteric symptoms?

Symptoms can be relieved with a healthier lifestyle. Good diet, correct water intake and physical activity can help this natural regulation.

The advice of the specialists is to reduce coffee, increase the consumption of vegetables and legumes, drink at least two litres of water and do about 30 minutes of activity a day.

Still, some women may have many symptoms well intensified, needing a more specific treatment, such as hormone replacement. Its benefit is that the treatment helps against osteoporosis, but also has contraindications. The doctor's follow-up is essential.


Different from menopause, which marks the end of the menstrual cycle, climacterium is a biological phenomenon that marks the change in a woman's reproductive phase. With the fall in female hormones, the ovaries release less and less eggs until they stop completely.

It begins around the age of 40 and can last for around 20 years, since the symptoms can extend even after menopause. We hope we have clarified the difference between climacteric and menopause throughout this article.

(Source of the highlighted image: fizkes /