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Menopause But menopause itself—as defined by health care professionals—is a woman's final menstrual period, which can be confirmed after she goes 12 consecutive months with no period, and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified; it also may occur when both ovaries are surgically removed or damaged.
Until that time, a woman in her late 40s or 50s may still be able to get pregnant, despite irregular periods.
Induced menopause can also occur if the ovaries are damaged by radiation, chemotherapy or certain drugs.
The "menopause transition" is a term used to describe this time, as is perimenopause.If fertilization does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the lining of the uterus breaks down and menstruation occurs.Perimenopause For reasons unknown, your ovaries gradually begin to function less efficiently during your mid-to-late 30s.In your late 40s, the process accelerates along with greater hormone fluctuations.This affects ovulation and levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Early menopause is defined as occurring at any age younger than age 45.