Mothers teach their daughters all about periods and procreation, but nobody teaches them about what happens when it all stops. Menopause (called the climacteric in the old days) has only been a fact of life for most women in the last century or two. Before, the majority of women did not live long enough to reach menopause, many dying from the complications of childbirth.

Once a woman passes her menopause, her ovaries will no longer produce eggs, her monthly periods will cease, and no more female hormones will be manufactured. The process usually occurs gradually over several years, between the early forties and the mid-fifties, but it may occur as early as 35 or as late as 58. It is therefore not unusual for a woman to spend more of her life after the menopause (or change of life) than she spends being fertile, but this does not mean that she loses her femininity.

Many women treat the end of their periods as a blessing and lead very active lives for many years afterwards (active sexually as well as physically and mentally).

(Last modified: 19th Sep 2015)

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