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Also called: Change of life 

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her period stops. It usually occurs naturally, most often after age 45. Menopause happens because the woman's ovary stops producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for one year. Changes and symptoms can start several years earlier. They include

  • A change in periods - shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, with more or less time in between
  • Hot flashes and/or night sweats
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble focusing
  • Less hair on head, more on face

Some symptoms require treatment. Talk to your doctor about how to best manage menopause. Make sure the doctor knows your medical history and your family medical history. This includes whether you are at risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, or breast cancer.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

  • Start Here

    • Menopause(Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
    • MenopauseFrom the National Institutes of Health(National Institute on Aging) - PDF
    • Also available in Spanish
    • MenopauseInteractive Tutorial(Patient Education Institute)
    • Also available in Spanish


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Menopause - Multiple Languages