What Is It? Menopause is a natural part of the female reproductive cycle when monthly menstrual periods end permanently, signifying the end of childbearing years. Menopause is said to have occurred when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 months. The change of life. The end of fertility. The beginning of freedom. Whatever people call it, menopause is a unique and personal experience for every woman. It’s a natural event that marks the end of fertility and childbearing years. Technically, menopause results when the ovaries no longer release eggs and decrease production of the sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone and, to a lesser extent, androgen. Menopause is said to have occurred when a woman has not had a period for 12 months.