Menopause -- the end of menstruation and fertility -- is a natural biological event, not a disease or illness. However, for some women physical and emotional symptoms can be difficult.
Menopause involves hormonal changes in your body that may cause physical symptoms: As the ovaries stop producing female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone), estrogen levels decline over a period of years. That decline can cause hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
For some women, menopause may bring on feelings of sadness. However, it's important to remember that menopause doesn't mean an end to your sexuality or that you are any less feminine. In fact, some women find the years after menopause to be a time of freedom, when they no longer have to think about having a period or becoming pregnant.
Today, an estimated 50 million women in the United States have reached menopause. Most women will spend at least one-third of their lives in or beyond menopause.