Menopause is a natural process that happens in all women. It happens when your ovaries stop releasing eggs. This means your levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone change. The lining of your womb (uterus) stays thin and eventually, your periods stop.

This can happen suddenly, or over several years as your periods become more irregular and then stop completely.

Menopause is defined as not having a period for:

  • more than one year, if you’re not pregnant and older than 50
  • more than two years, if you’re not pregnant and younger than 50.

Menopause usually happens when you’re around 50 years old.

Early menopause happens between the ages of 40 and 45.

Premature menopause starts before age 40. It’s also referred to as premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian insufficiency.

Artificial menopause happens when your ovaries have been surgically removed or stop working because of cancer treatment.

Perimenopause is the time when your periods become irregular before they finally stop. This usually lasts between four and eight years.

Postmenopause starts from one year after your last period.

Further information is available via HealthInfo.