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A woman's production of the hormone estrogen starts to decline in her mid-30s. Most women enter menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, when menstrual periods stop and estrogen levels drop sharply. At this point, a woman’s estrogen production is only about one-tenth the amount it was before menopause.
The loss of estrogen is a central feature of menopause, which usually occurs around age 50. However, estrogen production begins to decline in most women before they turn 40. The drop in estrogen is almost always gradual at first and causes few obvious symptoms. However, by the time a woman approaches her late 40s, chances are her estrogen levels are in full retreat.
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