I have yet to find any reliable information about the topic, so I will leave it to the scientists and RNs, MDs, etc. on here to link up some good articles. I can only share my experiences. I would guess I started peri-menopause somewhere around age 45. (Peri-menpause is a period of hormonal and other changes that precedes menopause.) I was 52 when I had my last period. One of my biggest questions -- which never got a straight answer from my doctor -- was "Can I still get pregnant?" If this is you, my advice is assume the answer is "yes, but it is not likely" and take precautions. I've seen changes in my hair (stiffer, drier) and skin and nails (drier) and off and on, changes in my libido. Rather than any predictable "hey it's been a week" level of desire, it runs hot and cold. From "why would anyone give up tv for this?" to "OMG I think I'm going nuts" type desire. My own opinion is, although low desire is not easily treated in women, it is your right to have a joyful sexual life and if this problem arises, you should feel entitled to seek help. I don't take any hormone replacement therapy and don't plan to. I don't have night sweats or the other horror symptoms some women have, and so I don't think the risk (heart disease) and expense are warranted. But I do have a great deal more trouble regulating my body temperature and have far less tolerance for extremes of heat or cold. As far as I can tell, there were no crazy-making mood swings or other emotional problems associated with menopause for me. If anything, I'm a bit nicer since I am not homicidal two days out of every month. But ladies, be prepared...there is a sadness that runs to the very bone the day you acknowledge that you will never have another child, no matter how rational a being you might be. At least there was for me. My biggest frustration about the whole thing was lack of information. Only lately have I learned that if you have a baseline test of hormone levels done as a younger woman, they can retest you at 40+ to determine if you are perimenopausal. I did have one MD tell me every woman needs a D & C after her last period "just to be on the safe side" but I discarded that advice as pure bullshittery. (I'm not overly fond of OB/Gyns, in case you hadn't noticed.) So, if you have questions or wish to relate your experience, please do. Men as well as women....anyone who loves an older lady is likely at least a bit curious.