The menopause is sometimes called ‘the change of life’ as it marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life. At menopause, the production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone drastically reduces. The word “menopause” refers to the last or final menstrual period a woman experiences. When a woman has had no periods for 12 consecutive months she is considered to be “postmenopausal”. Most women become menopausal naturally between the ages of 45 and 55 years, with the average age of onset at around 50 years.
If you are going through menopause, you might have periods more or less often than your usual cycle, have bleeding that lasts for fewer days than before, skip 1 or more periods or have symptoms of menopause (described below).
You can still get pregnant as long as you are menstruating, even if the cycles are less frequent. If you have sex and do not wish to become pregnant, some form of birth control is advised. However, if you have not had a period for 12 months, it is safe to say you have undergone menopause and are unlikely to get pregnant.
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