The Human Body

Menopause

Menopause, permanent ending of menstruation in women. Menopause marks the end of a woman’s natural ability to bear children. Menopause is usually preceded by 10 to 15 years during which the ovaries gradually stop producing eggs and sex hormones, a period called the climacteric. Perimenopause encompasses this period of changing ovarian activity and also the first few years without menstrual cycling, typically characterized by hormonal and physical changes and sometimes emotional and psychological changes as well.