What is menopause?
Menopause is the point in time when a woman's menstrual periods stop. Some people call the years leading up to a woman's last period "menopause," but that time actually is perimenopause (PER-ee-MEN-oh-pawz). Periods can stop for a while and then start again, so a woman is considered to have been through menopause only after a full year without periods. (There also can’t be some other reason for the periods stopping like being sick or pregnant.) After menopause, a woman no longer can get pregnant. It is common to experience symptoms such as hot flashes in the time around menopause. The average age of menopause is 51, but for some women it happens in their 40s or later in their 50s. Sometimes called “the change of life,” menopause is a normal part of life.