What happens to a woman's body during menopause?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

When a woman goes into natural menopause her levels of the female hormone estrogen start to decline. It usually happens between the ages of 47 and 55, but it can happen much earlier if the ovaries are removed or because of other medical conditions.

Back to a little basic reproductive science: During the reproductive years every month one of the eggs a woman is born with matures under the influence of a team of hormones, and this happens cyclically until midlife when there are fewer eggs and the ones that are left are less responsive. At this time, the ovaries slowly stop making estrogen and menopause begins.

Estrogen affects every part of the body—the skin, heart, brain, blood vessels, bones and reproductive organs to name a few. Some women will notice the changes and some won't. Low estrogen can reduce bone density, and cause vaginal dryness, vaginal tissue thinning, hot flashes, facial flushes, night sweats and problems with sleep, sex, mood, memory and thinking.

A woman's body during menopause goes through many changes, including the ovaries failure to function.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.