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Do Periods Ever End?

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Lots of girls wonder when their period will start, but they also might wonder: Do they ever end?

The answer is yes. A woman may stop getting her period for a variety of reasons:

  • She's having a health problem.
  • She's pregnant.
  • She's reached menopause — a time in life when older women (45 to 55 years old) stop getting periods and can no longer have babies.

Rarely, a health problem causes a girl or a woman to stop getting her period. The two most common reasons women stop getting their periods are not health problems. They are pregnancy and menopause. In pregnancy, periods stop until some time after the baby is born. In menopause (say: meh-nuh-pawz), which occurs in older women, periods stop forever!

During the menstrual cycle, the body is preparing the uterus just in case an egg is fertilized. If that happens, the woman will not get her period because that buildup of tissue and blood will be needed as the baby develops. The woman will not get her period that month or any month during her pregnancy. It may be several months after the baby is born before her periods begin again, though she may be able to get pregnant again even before menstruation returns.

When a woman enters her 40s, a process starts that will end with menopause — when women stop having periods and can no longer have a baby.

So if you've just started your period, now you know that someday they will end for good. But probably not for another 30 years or so!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2011

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

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