The menopause, sometimes referred to as the "change of life", isthe end of menstruation.
This is where a woman's ovaries stop producing an egg every four weeks. She no longer has monthlyperiods and is unlikely to get pregnant.
In the UK,51 is the average age for a woman to reach the menopause, although some women experience the menopause intheir 30s or40s.
If you experience the menopause before the age of 40, it's known asa premature menopause.
Menstruation (monthly periods) cansometimes stop suddenly when you reachthe menopause. However, it's more likely that your periods will become less frequent, with longer intervals between each one, before they stop altogether.
The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body's sex hormones.
In the lead-up to the menopause, known as the perimenopause, oestrogen levels decrease, causingthe ovaries to stop producing an egg each month (ovulation). Oestrogen is the female sex hormone that regulates a woman's periods.
Read more aboutwhat causes the menopause.
The reduction inoestrogen causes physical and emotional symptoms, including:
Read more about the symptoms of the menopause.
Follow this link:
Menopause - NHS Choices
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