Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases. It does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process of transition. A woman is in menopause if she has had no menstrual periods (menses) for 12 months and has no other medical reason for her menses to stop. That means she has to be evaluated by her doctor to exclude other medical causes of missed menses.
The symptoms of the menopause transition can be divided into early and late onset symptoms. Early symptoms include irregular vaginal bleeding, hot flashes, and night sweats. Late symptoms include vaginal dryness and irritation and osteoporosis.
Treatments for menopause are directed toward alleviating the symptoms present in the particular woman affected.