Menopause, or climacterium, marks the completion of a woman's childbearing years and the cessation of menses (menstrual cycles), as the ovaries slow down and, eventually, stop functioning. Women typically reach this phase in their lives between ages 45 and 55. As a result of hormonal changes due to this process, women undergoing menopause may experience feelings of irritability, as well as "hot flashes" on the neck, chest, face and arms. There are other less obvious physiological indications that indicate that menopause has begun.
As a woman enters menopause, the number of eggs in the ovaries decrease, which lowers ovary function and leads to a dramatic reduction in estrogen secretion. At the same time, the pituitary gland increases the secretion of a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which makes the eggs grow faster and the periods shorter. Sometimes ovulation does not occur.