A natural and gradual change.
Menopause is the final menstrual period that usually occurs between the ages of 48 to 52. It is not unusual for this to occur earlier or as late as the mid- fifties. Menopause is part of a longer life transition of hormonal change that may start in the early, mid, or late forties and occasionally earlier.
Many use the word menopause to describe the time women experience hormonal fluctuation associated with menstrual changes and hot flashes. This time of adjustment is actually called the Climateric or more commonly perimenopause or mid- life transition. Post menopause occurs 12 months after the last menstrual period.