Menopause is defined as the final menstrual period. It occurs when there has been a change in a woman's reproductive hormones and the ovaries no longer release any eggs.
Menopause can occur naturally and at the expected age, prematurely or early. Periods may stop unexpectedly due to primary ovarian insufficiency, or menopause can be caused by surgery, or because of treatment for cancer.
Perimenopause is the stage before natural menopause, and is when the ovaries are running out of eggs. It is often the time when women begin to experience the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, vaginal changes and mood swings.
Management and treatment of menopausal symptoms depend on each individual woman, stage of life, relationships and general level of health and wellbeing. Healthy living, natural and complementary therapies, menopause hormone therapy, or MHT (formerly called hormone replacement therapy, or HRT) and some prescription medications can help relieve menopausal symptoms.
If you have had menopause because of treatment for cancer, or you have had premature or early menopause, it is helpful to understand what you can do for symptoms of menopause.