Menopause Overview

Menopause is a fact of life that affects every woman around the world. However, the physical and mental impact of this physiologic inevitability varies both within and across all cultures. There is no universal menopause experience. But, for all women, menopause can mark the beginning of an exciting new time of life.



Menopause occurs gradually, and physicians typically classify its progression in three stages.

Stages Age Description
Perimenopause Begins anywhere from late 30s or early 50s It is the process of change that leads up to menopause, can lasts from 2 to 8 years. Irregular periods and other related symptoms can appear.
Menopause 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 1 year.
Postmenopause Depends on the menopause age A woman is considered to be postmenopausal when she has not had her period for an entire year, with FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone).



An atypical occurrence of menopause can happen in some women. Generally, there are two types of atypical menopause.

Types Age Description
Premature Menopause Before the age of 40 Early loss of estrogen brings increased risk for colon and ovarian cancer, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, and cataract formation.
Surgical Menopause At any age, performed in case of ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or infections.  Ovaries and uterus are surgically removed in a procedure called a bilateral oophorectomy or total hysterectomy. This causes an abrupt menopause.


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