Menopause 101: How a Shift in Hormone Levels Can Impact Your Health

Medically Reviewed by Madeline Hubbard, RN, BSN

Photo Courtesy: filadendron/E+/Getty Images

Menopause refers to a stage in an individual's life when hormone levels naturally change, which can trigger a whole host of physical and emotional effects. It is important to realize that menopause is a biological process — just like puberty. To that end, it's not a disease or condition to be cured, but, rather, a change in the body, which is why it has often been referred to as the “change of life.”

Menopause marks the end of menstruation and menstrual cycles and, post-menopause, a person is no longer able to bear a child. Moreover, a person is considered to be in menopause one year after their last period. Nonetheless, it's important to note that menopause is a transitional time that can last between 7 and 14 years, typically occurring when a person is in their 40s or 50s. On average, most people in the United States experience the onset of menopause around age 51.