Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases. Menopause is a gradual process of transition. This transition period is different for each woman. Eventually a woman's periods will completely stop as she completes this transition into menopause.
The average age of onset of menopause process is 51 years old. But there is no single method to predict when a woman will enter menopause. The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is also not related to the age of menopause onset. As a rough "rule of thumb" women tend to undergo menopause at an age similar to that of their mothers.
The symptoms of menopause can be divided into early and late onset symptoms. Early symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, hot flushes, and mood changes. Late symptoms include vaginal dryness and irritation, osteoporosis, and heart disease.