The word menopause is used in popular culture to refer to the entire process of pre-menopause through post-menopause. Your doctor may be more precise and use one or more of the following terms:

Technically, menopause refers to a specific event – the date of your last period. Menopause can be confirmed when you have missed your period for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes).

Menopause is usually a natural change, this time of change is known as the menopausal transition and is different for each woman. For most women, this happens in their late 40’s or early 50s. At this time, your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing estrogen and other hormones (progesterone, androgen, testosterone). Both before and for a time after your last period, when estrogen levels decrease, you may experience symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, diminished concentration and mood swings.