Menopause is a fact of life that affects every woman around the world. It is caused by a woman’s ovaries stopping production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and is marked by a woman not having her period for one year. It is part of a woman’s natural aging process, and usually happens after age 45.
Stages of Menopause
Menopause occurs gradually, and physicians typically classify its progression in three stages.
- Begins anywhere from late 30s to early 50s
- It is the process of change that leads up to menopause, and can last from 2-8 years.
- Irregular periods and other symptoms can begin, including irregular periods, hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, mood swings, trouble focusing and hair loss
- Varies from mid 40s to early 50s
- Menopause is the point in a woman’s life when she has not had a menstrual period for one year.
- The years after menopause; depends on the menopause age
- Menopause symptoms will disappear
Other Types of Menopause
For some women, menopause will not follow a natural progression. There are two main reasons this can happen:
- Premature Menopause: Menopause before the age of 40; can be caused by cancer drugs, genetics, autoimmune disorders or chromosomal abnormalities
- Surgical Menopause: Menopause as a result of surgeries like hysterectomies or oophorectomies can happen at any age.