Menopause is when a woman's menstrual period stops permanently. Periods can stop for a while and then start again, so a woman is considered to have been through menopause only after one year without periods. Read on to learn what to expect and ways to stay strong and healthy in the years around menopause.
Women's thoughts on menopause
"Menopause for me was a welcomed friend. The years of cramps and bloating have ended."
— Norma M.
"My experience with menopause has been good. I had heard many horror stories and have been surprised. After a year, my hot flashes have subsided. Menopause has been a good experience for me, and I hope it continues to be."
— Karen C.
"Coming through this change of life is challenging because it is something one does alone. The temperature changes, the mood changes, and the weight changes are irritating. I should care about exercise and choosing healthy foods more, but find it difficult."
"I am treating my menopause as an experience. I take the time to laugh at reactions like hot flashes and even mood swings. Doing this makes them not so bad, and my life much easier."
Content last updated: September 29, 2010.