What Is Menopause?
Menopause refers to the time during which a woman's ovaries begin producing less estrogen and progesterone and cease the ripening and releasing of ova. The transition can last up to five years and typically occurs at mid-life. The hallmark of menopause is a woman's loss of menstrual cycle—rendering her unable to conceive for the remainder of her life. But a woman's body undergoes many additional changes that are both physical and psychological in nature, including hot flashes, night sweats, irregular heartbeat, headaches, and sleep difficulties. Menopause is also often accompanied by mood swings, irritability, depression, and anxiety, as well as cognitive symptoms like forgetfulness. Other symptoms of menopause may include urine leakage, vaginal dryness, infection, painful sexual intercourse, and joint aches or pains.