What is natural menopause?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Natural menopause means that your periods have stopped naturally for at least a year. We make the distinction because menopause can also be initiated by a medical or surgical treatment. Most women experience natural menopause somewhere in their 40s or 50s. It occurs slowly over the course of a few years as the amount of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones produced in the ovaries begins to fluctuate and your ovaries stop releasing eggs. Although it is uncommon, younger women can experience early menopause.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Natural menopause is the term used to describe the stage in a woman's life when menstruation stops and other changes occur, which usually happens around age 50. Natural menopause is usually a gradual process that takes place over a period of years.

Not all women experience natural menopause, however. Younger women who have their ovaries removed for any reason will enter menopause immediately. This transition is known as surgical menopause or induced menopause. In some cases, chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cause an abrupt onset of menopause too.

Natural menopause is the permanent end to a woman's monthly menstrual cycle from natural life changes and not due to any medical treatments. Natural menopause generally has 3 phases: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Most women begin natural menopause in their 40s.

Continue Learning about Menopause

Menopause

Menopause

If you are a woman in your 40s and 50s, you might notice that your periods start to change as menopause approaches. During menopause, the menstrual cycle becomes less predictable, and many women start to experience uncomfortable s...

ymptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and/or changes in mood.
More

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.