Should I Still Be Menstruating at Age 55?

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Hormones

Dear Dr. Northrup,

Tomorrow I turn 55 and I am still menstruating regularly. Should this be a concern? Can I still get pregnant?

Thank you – P.M.

Dear P.M.

Getting regular periods at age 55 is perfectly normal. When did your mother go through the change? The average age of the last period is age 52 in the U.S. You’re just at the upper end of the range. What this really means is that your biologic age is on the young side! Nothing to worry about. Your bones, skin, hair, and vaginal tissue are all getting the benefits of your natural hormones. And yes, you could still get pregnant. Just enjoy this.

Congratulations – C.N.

 

Last Updated: December 16, 2010

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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  1. Luz Marina
    4 weeks ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup,

    I came to google to find out something I am just intuitively knowing. I am 55 and still have my period. Few years ago talking to my cardiologist he explained that even though all of my life I was irregular and saw very few times my period ,now that I’m becoming more calm (I used to train in the gym a lot, always hyperactive), it is now when I am becoming regular and seeing my period like never ever before. Happens that I moved in with my boyfriend for few weeks while I can get a place for myself and I am feeling nausea, and something tells me I am pregnant although it has been just a couple of weeks. Can a woman feel this early a pregnancy? If so, will I be able to have a healthy baby at this age? Im active, as I am explain before I have been a healthy very active individual all of my life so far, and have never children. I am thinking about it. I know there is a variety of test to find out if a pregnancy is healthy e.g. Maternal Serum Screen,Fetal Echocardiogram,Amniocentesis, Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS),High resolution Ultrasound. Which one would you recommend me if I were to keep this pregnancy in the event I am pregnant?

  2. Alicia
    1 month ago

    My mother had heavy periods throughout her late 50’s, so much so she would go to the ER, but they were never alarmed. Doc was never alarmed or concerned. Not even through her 60’s. February 2017, the doctor finally sent her for a scan. 2 days later, she was rushed to the ER. 2 days later, Stage 4 Endometrial Cancer diagnosis. She lived 30 days. Died at age 65. My point is, it was always dismissed as late onset menopause-except it wasn’t. Or it may have started that way, but at some point, she needed some kind of intervention to stop it. She started her period at 12-too many years and too much estrogen. Time bomb ticking. I’m not trying to scare anyone-but my mom didn’t have to die. Any prior ER visit, or conscientious GYN with the right test could have easily caught this, or alerted her to the possibility of cancer. Her age (as the years passed) and symptoms alone should have sounded an alarm, but they weren’t worried, so we weren’t either. We had NEVER heard of bleeding as a symptom of cancer. Any of you could be that unicorn of a woman that still has a cycle. But I would insist on a Uterine/Endometrial Cancer screening, to be sure. Please don’t be us! -A Heartbroken Daughter

    1. April
      4 days ago

      Hi Alicia, I’m so sorry about your mom.. I also lost my mother to cancer, she was 41 and I was the tender age of 12.. After reading your comment I must say I’m a bit concerned.. I’m now 58yrs old and still having my periods. Some months my doctor prescribe Tranexamic Acid to stop the EXTREMELY heavy flow.. I’ve lost jobs.. some months I can’t leave my home because of the pain and flow, made a mess on subway seats, flight attendant gave me a blanket to cover the mess I made on the airplane seat, it spoiled my first cruise.. I could go on an on.. I’m now seeing a gynaecologist.. presently I’ve been on a period for two weeks now, my granddaughter caught up to me. I see myself in the way you described your mom, my mom also passed from cancer.. I will surely mention your story to my gynaecologist.. Thanks for the post..

  3. Pam
    2 months ago

    I am almost 55 and have regular (every 28 days) cycle lasting about 6-7 days, heavy for first 3.
    I did not start menstruating until 14. I had 6 children starting at age 25. I breastfed for total of 13 years and did not have cycles ever while breastfeeding.

    My mother had a hysterectomy in her early 30s (she is epileptic) so no help with info there. I keep being told by health care people that I won’t get pregnant. These people will not test my hormones or anything. I One was offended that I questioned her opinion that I would not get pregnant (my husband does not want a child at this age because a cousin of his has Downs and he feels it is not fair to a child to not be able to participate like a younger father)

    I am not currently on birth control (so my cycles are real). This dampens our sex life. I am not overweight and do not have any health issues. Hoping they will let me go back on BC.

    I know my own body and get really tired of professionals telling me what is what. I have never had a flu shot and have never had the flu. I have a great immune system (at least for now)

    1. Slim
      2 months ago

      Thank you for sharing cause i am 55 an still have regular periods an i felt like i was strange an since i read that its normal i don’t feel so bad now .

    2. Alice
      1 month ago

      Hello Pam, thanks for sharing your experience. I feel better now that I know I am not alone. I turned 54 a few days ago and still have my period. I got worried a few months ago and went to see a doctor and got a pap smear done. Everything was normal but I am still worried. I have heavy periods for the first 3 days with a few blood clots. I had my first period at the age of 15 and my Mom said she had a late menopause but doesn’t remember what age she was. Anyway thanks for sharing.

    3. Valerie Worden
      3 weeks ago

      Im 53 and still get periods, they come and go but this one has lasted 4 weeks I hate this age lol

  4. SHERRI HARRIS
    2 months ago

    I am 49 and I haven’t had a period over 20 yrs. is it possible I could still get pregnant? I do take birth control pills and also have anxiety. If I was off the Birth control pills. Could I get pregnant?

  5. Makhmarisa
    3 months ago

    My mother is in menopause
    She is 54 and she did blood test and her
    FSH level is 50.50
    LH level is 37.20

    But she still get period but irregularly
    Her period started getting irregular 2 years ago and since that time she got period 2 or 3 times
    I afraid if she has ovarian cancer

    She did ultrasound few times and everything were normal

  6. Alley
    4 months ago

    Have your thyroid checked. This sort of problem happened to me when my thyroid was failing. It was to the point that I wore adult diapers because of very heavy bleeding. Getting replacement thyroid hormone helped me a lot. Best of luck to you. Go to a gyno, or an endocrinologist, they can check all of your hormones through a simple blood test. All of my regular doctors at the time were useless.

  7. Teri Barrera
    4 months ago

    I’m 55 yrs old .. still have a regular period and are lasting over 2 weeks…the first 3 dad are heavy the light spotting that won’t stop…I do get blood clots during the first 3 days…I’m so exhausted … what would be the best alternative

    1. Jeff
      3 months ago

      Happened to my wife she has endemetriol cancer. Stage 4…. get the hysterectomy. Quickly. Your not having children the longer those organs hang around the more likely they will become cancerous

      1. Jeff
        3 months ago

        My wife is 64 and got a pap smear and exam every year. I am looking at her records now. Fifteen years same gynecologist. Had pain and periods lasting three weeks to a month. And than bleeding when she had no period. Long story short switched o gym got a female sent her for a biopsy and found cancer.

    2. Cynthia
      2 months ago

      Hi Teri, I am 55 this year and I also still have a regular period. Like you, I used to had periods lasting over 2 weeks too and was exhausted. That went on for about 8 months. I was determined not to have a hysterectomy because my mother had one and within a few years early on-set Alzheimers started. There is a link between hysterectomies and Alzheimers which back then there was no data on. My periods are now back to being regular and the exhaustion has gone away. What changed was I started focusing on lowering stress in my life (not immediately easy to do) and adding better nutritional food. I started going all organic, taking daily supplements including fish oil, vitamin D, E, C, and B’s. It took awhile but I am feeling great now. What gets me through the ups and downs of this part of life is reminding myself that a late menopause has been linked to a longer life. Hope you feel better soon!

  8. Anita Hargreaves
    5 months ago

    Not noticed bleeding, without a pad as wear a lot of black. I’m 51 years old and haven’t really had much of a break. I wear white knickers to find dark brown blood on my underwear not from anal area. I wear sanitary towels daily and fill up but when I see no blood whilst urinating confused.

  9. Colleen Darr
    5 months ago

    i’m 53 and i have not had a period since over a year . Just last month the 3rd week of June i got my periods and and it’s still going. What is happening to my body ? when will it stop?

  10. Marie
    8 months ago

    No it’s the truth. Medications have WELL KNOWN deadly side effects. Not all show up during but after a while of taking them. So you’re saying Blood clots, strokes and heart attacks are NOT deadly. I think they are!

  11. Suzanne Reilly
    9 months ago

    I am also 54 and still getting my period. What is the procedure Oblations everyone tells me to get?

    1. Judy
      2 months ago

      This is where the doctor goes in with a laser and thins your lining. I had it done, and the procedure slowed down the bleeding, and my excruciating cramps went away. It was the right choice for me, but you really should talk to your doctor to make sure it is right for you.

  12. Connie
    10 months ago

    Sounds like I not alone, I’m 55 still having a period have spoken with my Doc she had said to be careful and my options were to get another IUD or condoms she also said highly unlikely that I would get pregnant but boy it’s scary to think at my age and being pregnant!

    1. Loretta
      9 months ago

      I’ll be 56 next month and still have my period but not regularly. I’ll spot 2 or 3 days then have a heavy flow like tonight but tomorrow I could be done..

    2. Kris
      9 months ago

      I still get my period at 54 and I hate it. I have had no luck with doctors as my periods are extremely heavy and painful. They seem more interested in the baby makers than woman who is having struggles with this portion of her life.
      I am so disappointed in the level of care and options available.

      1. sherry
        9 months ago

        I agree – I hate it as well

    3. Sylvia
      6 months ago

      I am 53 and having a period and having hot sweaty nights and now I see that I’m not alone it still makes me wonder when will it really stop how long or how old will I be when it finishes

      1. Ninfa
        5 months ago

        I’m 53 too and in the same situation as you are.

    4. April
      6 months ago

      I’m 57yrs old and I’m still at it.. no breaks, no slowing down.. it has slowed me down in that I cannot hold down a full time job.. I’ve lost my job because of it.. I’ve had assignments cancelled because every month I’m laid up for one week. I’m forever anemic, I’ve had to throw out bed linen because of the mess I’ve made.. Still living with it.. My appointment is today, going to see another doctor.. ‍♀️‍♀️

      1. Shoosh
        5 months ago

        you have to see your gynocologist since you are bleeding heavily which led you to be anemic, for the heavy flow you may use Tena panties which are like diapers but very useful for heavy bleeding and protects you from spilling, hope all goes well dear,,

      2. Robin
        4 months ago

        I am 57 and having a period. I have and appointment in a few days with my gynecologist. I am just curious how your appointment went.

  13. Rita
    1 year ago

    I am 39 years old and I didn’t get my period about two years and family dr said Ian not getting my period any more i have four girls I just to try for boy please tell me I have chance to spend some money to get Pregnant please help me and thanks

  14. Rowena
    1 year ago

    Im turning 56 tomorrow and concerned about my period. I spotted on the first day of August very light for 3 days and on the fourth,fifth and six days was extremely heavy. And now im still spotting and its going to be 11days of my period. I’ve never go more than 8 days of my period. Im worried.

    1. Lynn
      7 months ago

      I’m 54 … that’s happened to me a couple of times. I’ll go a couple of months without a period & then I’ll have a heavy period. It could last for 10 days.

  15. Mary graham
    1 year ago

    I am still having a period at 63 very painful cramps and heavy bleeding

    1. Gus
      6 months ago

      How do you know it is a period and not something else? What does your doctor say?

  16. Christina Lomeli
    2 years ago

    At 55 I had heavy period for a year. It finally stopped. But now Im 56 and it started again
    Heavy bleeding. I can’t figure it out. I live a healthy lifestyle..Please give me some advice in what to do naturally.

  17. Tammy J Price
    2 years ago

    Am 55years old last month didn’t get my period,been getting ever month,can I still get pregnancy,or just stress

    1. Lacheryl
      9 months ago

      Yes you can.

  18. Mireya iza
    2 years ago

    My mom got her period today after years of not having it . She is 55 now
    Is there something she should worry about ?

  19. Sherri Smith
    2 years ago

    In 2017 at the age of 53, my periods started becoming irregular for the first time in my life. First, I missed May and June. In July, my period came back. Afterwards, I didn’t see another period until Nov. Then, I missed the following month. Jan 2018 at the age of 54, it came on for three months straight and then nothing for the next four months. After August, I didn’t have another one until Jan, 2019. The months that I missed, I still suffered with PMS. However, I’m sure that I am a peri-menopausal. In addition, my menstrual flow is much lighter now. Should I worry about birth control at this point?

    1. APRIL PARKER
      2 years ago

      I’m going through the same. I just turned 55 on April 12, 2019. I had gone for months (4-6) with no period. Well, started again just the other day. Ugh! I can go for month with none which this started around the same as yours, then BOO! She shows me she hasn’t given up the ship yet. Goodness.

    2. Chris F.
      2 years ago

      I turned 55 in February. Went nine months with no period (the year before, seven months). Hot flashes and all. About two weeks ago I had signs of ovulation. Well, today I started my period. Ugh! Will this ever end??

  20. Jo
    2 years ago

    I am 54 still having light periods. Have a completely different issue with pain, itching, in vaginal area and increased urination. Gyn tested my hormones..all levels show postmenopausal. So she has me going for a regular and a vaginal ultrasound. Nervous, she has me worried about cancer. She did comment that my vaginal walls had Gorrell very thin. Anyone have this os similar issue?

  21. Angie
    2 years ago

    I am 55 and still with a menstrual cycle my doctor put me on birth control pills to stop my periods because my period drains me bad is this safe to do and when I stop taking birth control will my period come back?

  22. Shenaaz
    2 years ago

    Hi. I am 55 and still having a regular period. I am concerned. My Dr requested an ablation. Any comments. Thanks

    1. Velouria
      2 years ago

      Did you read the above answer?

      1. B
        9 months ago

        I am 52years, my period stop for about 6months and suddenly started again, should I go to the hospital.

    2. Marie
      1 year ago

      Shenaaz
      I’m 55 soon 56 I’ve NEVER skipped a period. Regular as clockwork. Every 28-31 days. Am i worried ABSOLUTELY NOT. It’s healthy keeps our bones and heart in check. Read Dr. Northrop’s comment at the top of the page. She also states this. My Mother was 63 with her very last period. She never worried about it. After 9 kids she didn’t worry about anything! WHY are SO MANY women running scared to Drs. Relax and know this IS normal. If you have a deadly disease youll know it. Doctors don’t cure they mask cover up and there prescriptions ARE DEADLY.

      1. Paulina
        10 months ago

        Saying prescriptions are deadly is overkill. I needed to take birth control pills when I was 53 and it was a good thing because I was menstruating every two weeks and it was effecting my iron levels, it helped bring it under control. I’m just turned 55 and I seem to be getting my period every 3 to 4 months. I’m okay with it if is good for my heart and bones.

      2. helaurin
        9 months ago

        Saying “if you have a deadly disease you’ll know it” – Not true. My mother didn’t know it. By the time she saw a doctor, she was terminal with uterine sarcoma (cancer). It’s worth at least getting checked out by a medical professional on a routine basis.

        1. Marie
          8 months ago

          That’s your opinion. I have A close family member Physician. It’s impossible to NOT have a symptom. Sometimes people are to scared to tell their symptoms

  23. Gibbysan
    2 years ago

    Hello, I’m 56 and nearly 57. I’ve been on HRT about 3 years due to night sweats, insomnia and headaches. If I try to go off or even reduce the HRT, all those symptoms come back within days and I can barely function.

    I recently had a doc completely take away my Testosterone, Estradiol, and she reduced my Progesterone by about 90%. After I told her I would get screaming headaches and insomnia, she did it, anyway. My already dry eyes also got considerably drier. I began having periods approximately every two weeks. She refused to help me further until I got a vaginal ultrasound so she could “see if there had been changes to my endometrium” even though she had no baseline to compare it to. I did not get the ultrasound.

    I’m now seeing another doc who basically put me on what I was on before and I feel much better. (Still get night sweats for about a week before my period.)

    Since I’ve been back on the higher doses for about 2 months, I’m getting a period every 28-35 days, but the one I’m having right now has been so light I haven’t had to use anything, which has never happened before. (I’m on 200 mg Progesterone a day, 10 mg Estriol and 5 mg testosterone.)

    I’ve asked docs if I’m still having periods due to the HRT but no one can give me an answer except “I don’t know” and “maybe you won’t stop until you’re in your early 60’s”.

    I’m also wondering if I can still get pregnant, although I suppose the answer is yes, but still incredibly difficult to conceive. Not that I want to.

    Thank you.

    1. Emily
      2 years ago

      I do wonder how ignorant some women are. All HRT will do is delay the inevitable. Chuck the cancer-giving pills in the bin, go through the menopause, stop complaining (it’s not an illness) and it’ll soon be over.

      1. Marie
        1 year ago

        I couldn’t have said it better. Women this is part of our “normal” aging. Drs will write prescriptions for the money. They harm NEVER help. Crazy…. just accept your Woman traits its all normal. Please Women realize to a Dr your a business. They never cure only mask and cover up symptoms. Why and who would allow this. Drs practice medicine stop putting ALL of your trust in Man. God explains it in his word

      2. Toni
        1 year ago

        No need to be so rude Emily

        1. Connie
          10 months ago

          Yea!

      3. Maria
        12 months ago

        You shouldn’t call ignorant to any women, you are one and you should know better, that every women is different, when you have been going through it for years and seems will never end, when you have a heavy bleeding and you have to use tampons and change pads every 30 minutes , when you had to get a transfusion because the bleeding was deadly, and doesn’t seem to be over soon as you said, then of course you get worried. Wish you never have to go through something like that. Think before you said anything if you have no idea what other women are experiencing.

  24. Kay
    2 years ago

    Hello everyone,

    I too, was menstruating at age 54. My doctor was a bit concerned due to my age even though a very, very small percentage of women continue to normally menstruate at this age and after. An ultrasound was ordered, my endometrium thickness was over 13 and that is not normal. Next, D and C. Thank you Jesus, no cancer discovered. After that procedure, had light cycle, then nothing for the next 4 months. Thennnn……Sally shows up again. I am a bit concerned, but I haven’t had a complete year without a cycle. Will be contacting my doctor. Finally, a note to those women who stopped menstruating for a year or more and now you’re bleeding/spotting again…..please get to your doc immediately! As a precaution, go to doc to rule out any form of cancer. This happened to a friend who had a normal pap smear, later learning she had stage 1 ovarian cancer. Had traditional surgery and has been cancer free for over 5 years. Cancer was caught very early because she was alert and in tune with the function of her body and a great alert doc also! Blessings to you all!

    1. Jackie
      2 years ago

      Hi Kay. I too am 54 and went through the same thing as you last year. I didn’t have a period for 4 months this past summer but am having them regularly again now. It is so frustrating and I so badly just want it to stop.

      1. Tootie
        2 years ago

        I too am 54 and I am praying to God to stop

  25. Melinda Steward
    2 years ago

    I’ll be 54 in 9 days and still get periods but they not regular they are heavy with clots. 2 months ago it lasted 2 days then I went 7 weeks without one now it’s back. I have bad cramps also. I went to Dr 2 yrs ago they did ultrasound and I had a few small fibrods but he said they weren’t big enough to worry about. I also have fibromyalgia which don’t help. Should I be concerned

  26. Valecia Jones
    2 years ago

    I’m 56 and had not seen my period for 9 yywokd up last week with a period is something wrong it lasted 7 day and is now gone will I have another next month I’ll be 57 at the end of October is this weird?

  27. Karen Avey
    2 years ago

    I am 59 and had an ablation two years ago as I still had a regular period. My experience with it was amazing! No pain or bleeding afterward. Unfortunately, my hormones are still wreaking havoc. Every two months or so I develop a fungal rash that appears on one side or the other. I have a slimey, smelly coating on the skin…if I shower less than every three hours, and the burning pain increases in intensity til it’s fire engine red and out of this world painful. The next morning, it’s gone and my skin starts to shed. When I still had my period, I would invariably start my period the day the rash disappeared. Literally!

    The gynecologist told me it’s hormonal skin sensitivity.

    Two nights ago, the burning was incredible and then I woke up in the early morning with 5r bedsheets and bedclothes soaked!

    Hormones are a peach!

    Anyone else with this, too?

  28. Sharon
    2 years ago

    Dear Dr Northup.
    I turn 53 and my menstrual was off for
    Year 2 month back on
    Been on for 2 week now is that ok very heavy with blood clot.

  29. easthigh81
    2 years ago

    No, it’s not normal to have a period at age 55, I’m 55 and have irregular periods and very heavy bleeding with large blood clots. The heavy bleeding and clots come without any warning, thankfully I have not been out in public when this has happened. My Doctor says I need a D & C.

    1. Sally
      2 years ago

      It’s not abnormal to continue to have a normal cycle in mid to late 50s. We are all different,. The age at which we started our periods, how we eat, how we exercise and our genetics play a big role in whether we continue to have our periods later in life.

  30. MARITZA OSORIO
    3 years ago

    I HAVEN’T HAD MY PERIOD FOR CLOSE TO A YEAR. MY BREAST WERE TENDER I FELT OVARY PAIN AND I HAD A GUS OF BLOOD WITH SOME BLOOD CLOTS, FOR 2 DAYS. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN SHOULD I BE CONCERN?

    THANK YOU MARITZA OSORIO

    1. Angela
      2 years ago

      I’m not a Dr. but that happened to me also and my Dr. thinks it’s ok. If your concerned you should see your Dr. I experience blood clots usually when I’m dehydrated.

  31. Sonya Nunnally
    3 years ago

    Hello, I would like to know if having getting an hysterectomy to stop my periods at 56 is ok? I’m considering having it done because of my pain and depression that comes along with still having a period. Also, no fibroid problem and my ultrasound came back normal. Help!

    1. Kathleen
      2 years ago

      I’m 56 and having same issue. I had a D&C and polyp removed in 2016 and have had light pink spotting off and on about every six months since then. I event went almost a whole year without having the spotting then it came back. I am going to ultrasound next week and then discuss options with my doctor. I’m a little apprehensive about a hysterectomy only because of the issue of organs moving around and loss of sexual feeling.

  32. Koreen rafikh
    3 years ago

    Hi I am going to be 56in July , my period has been on and off since last year,my last one was in November last year now it come back in this month , should I be worry?

    1. Angela
      2 years ago

      Same here. I guess it will be that way until we are fully in menopause.

  33. Gail
    3 years ago

    I am 65 and have not had any kind of a menstrual for at least 20 years
    had some spoting about 8 years ago after a shot in lower back.
    do i need to go to a Doc. right away or wait to see how long it last.?

    1. Funeka
      4 months ago

      I am 62 I just had my periods back after more than 10 years. Need I worry?

  34. Michele
    4 years ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup,
    I’m 53, last year I had several months without a period, then it came back and was regular until I went to the doctor the beginning of this year. She did some blood work, ultra sound in and out and I have a few fibroids which I was aware of. She said that I shouldn’t still be having periods because of my numbers discovered through blood work of being in menopause. I had a D & C, then recently got another period and have been bleeding for the past nine days, now it is recommended to have a hysterectomy. I’ve had issues with pain during ovulation for years after having three C-sections and I’m really tired of living with the pain.

    Is a hysterectomy the solution…I’d appreciate your thoughts?

    1. Indita
      2 years ago

      Hi Michele,
      Did the Dr answer your question? Interested in knowing what her answer was to you, thank you:)

  35. Nancy
    5 years ago

    Iam 62, dr took out my thyroid surgery 4 years ago, they have never been able to set the medication that works it’s play from to high to very low, generic levothyrozine, please help

  36. cristine
    5 years ago

    Dear Dr Northup,

    I just turned 55 this week.
    For more than a year, i have not been menstruating regularly but had spottings every now and then. Two days ago I had a flow that was heavy after days of tender breats, bloating, and all the pre menstrual syndromes I usually have during my regular periods. Is this the signn of perimenopausal?
    Thanks. vc

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