Menopause is a normal, natural event that is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Certain surgeries and medical treatment can induce menopause.
It's a turning point that all women experience, not a disease, but it can have a big impact on a woman's wellbeing. Although menopause can be the source of disruptive side effects, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and tiredness, menopause can also be the start of a new and rewarding phase in a woman's life. Menopause is usually confirmed when a woman has missed her periods for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes). American women experience menopause at age 51 (on average), according to the National Institute on Aging, but menopause can start earlier or later – some women may experience menopause as early as 40, others as late as 60.