Menopause is the process through which a woman ceases to be fertile or menstruate. It is a normal part of life and is not considered a disease or a condition.
Fast facts on menopause
Menopause marks the end of a woman's fertility.
Symptoms of menopause include night sweats, hot flashes, mood fluctuations, and cognitive changes.
A reduction in estrogen levels can lead to the symptoms of menopause.
There are a number of medical treatments and home remedies that can help with symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and self-management techniques.
The average age of menopause in the United States (U.S.) is 51 years.
In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:
Weight gain and slowed metabolism
Thinning hair and dry skin
Loss of breast fullness
Symptoms, including changes in menstruation, are different for every woman. Most likely, you'll experience some irregularity in your periods before they end.
Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and then start monthly cycles again for a few months. Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles, so they are closer together. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you've skipped a period but aren't sure you've started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test.