When oestrogen production falls to a very low level the uterus stops responding, periods stop and this is called the menopause. For around ten years before and several years after the menopause, the amount of oestrogen produced from the female ovary declines; this decline varies a lot before the menopause and can result in very distressing symptoms as well as erratic or heavy menstrual bleeding.
Around three-quarters of women experience problems associated with the menopause. Symptoms relate to a low level of oestrogen and occasionally testosterone and depend which system in each individual is affected the most. It is not related to a ‘state of mind’ as the most determined and active women can be laid low and completely incapacitated by symptoms which may take them completely unawares.