Menopause is the transitional period in a woman's life in which her body produces less estrogen and progesterone (female hormones). A woman is said to have reached menopause when she has stopped menstruating for 12 months in a row.
As you near menopause, you may have symptoms as a result of the changes your body is making. These symptoms, which may include hot flashes or night sweats, can begin several years before your final period and last for months (or even years) thereafter.
(Click Menopause to learn more, including statistics on the average age when it occurs.)