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 ovaries stos 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
After menopause, women are more vulnerable to bone loss and heart disease. Exercise and eating a healthy diet can help keep women healthy as they age.