After 12 months without a period, a woman reaches menopause and is then considered postmenopausal. Experiences vary, but many women continue to experience menopause symptoms for 4 to 10 years following menopause. Regardless of frequency, intensity, or absence of symptoms, long-term health risks remain. As the average age for entering postmenopause is between 49 and 51 and most women today live into their 80s, many view their postmenopausal years as an exciting, period-free chapter.