What is the menopause?

The menopause is usually a natural part of the aging process. It marks the end of the reproductive period and menstruation. In some cases it can begin earlier, often as a result of a family history of early or premature menopause, or start suddenly due to medical treatments or surgical interventions such as chemotherapy or a hysterectomy.

It is caused by hormonal changes and can on average last from four to eight years.

Physical symptoms associated with the menopause can include hot flushes, fatigue, sleep disturbance and dry skin. Psychological symptoms can include mood disturbances, anxiety and depression and poor concentration or memory - amongst many others.

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