Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It is defined as the permanent cessation of menstrual periods, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age being around 51.

Menopause is diagnosed when a woman has gone without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.

During menopause, a woman’s ovaries gradually produce less estrogen and progesterone, the hormones responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and supporting fertility. As a result, the menstrual cycles become irregular and eventually stop completely. Menopause is confirmed once the periods have ceased for the specified duration.



The transition leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, which can last several years. During perimenopause, hormone levels fluctuate, and women may experience various physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Irregular periods: Menstrual cycles may become shorter or longer, and periods may be heavier or lighter.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats: Sudden feelings of intense heat, often accompanied by flushing and sweating, can disrupt sleep and daily activities.
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort: Decreased estrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during intercourse.
  • Sleep disturbances: Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns may occur, sometimes due to night sweats.
  • Mood changes: Women may experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or depression.
  • Changes in sexual function: Reduced estrogen levels can affect libido and lead to changes in sexual desire or arousal.
  • Physical changes: Menopause can contribute to weight gain, changes in skin elasticity, hair thinning, and bone density loss.

It’s important to note that menopause affects each woman differently, and not all women will experience severe symptoms. Some women may have a relatively smooth transition with minimal discomfort, while others may face more challenging symptoms that significantly impact their quality of life.


How to manage the symptoms of menopause


To manage the symptoms of menopause, various treatment options are available, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves the use of estrogen or combined estrogen-progesterone medications to alleviate symptoms.

Non-hormonal therapies, lifestyle modifications, and alternative approaches such as herbal supplements and acupuncture can also provide relief for some women.

It’s recommended that women consult with their healthcare providers to discuss individual symptoms, risks, benefits, and the most appropriate treatment options based on their specific circumstances and medical history. Regular check-ups and screenings for conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease are also important during and after menopause.