What is the Menopause?
Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. It is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases. It happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.
The process of menopause does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process. This so-called perimenopausal transition period is a different experience for each woman.
Most women experience menopause between ages 40 and 58 with the average age being 51, but menopause may occur as early as the 30s or as late as the 60s. There is no reliable laboratory test to predict when a woman will experience menopause and the age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is not related to the age of menopause onset.
It’s estimated that at any one time in the UK, 13 million women are either perimenopasual or postmenopausal – that’s almost half the country’s female population.
The menopause is a deeply personal experience with each women’s feelings and symptoms varying in duration and severity.