Do All Women Get Menopause?

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Last Editorial Review: 6/30/2017

Ask the experts

I am a man, and I would like to know if all women go through menopause. My sister says that all women go through menopause. Please let me know if this is true.

Doctor's response

Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for a period of one year or more and is characterized by decreasing levels of estrogen produced by the ovaries. Unless a woman had her ovaries surgically removed as a young child (before puberty), all women experience menopause either when they stop having menstrual periods (in the majority of cases) or if and when their ovaries are surgically removed. In both cases the decline in hormone production produces the characteristic symptoms associated with menopause.

If you are asking whether all women experience the symptoms typical of menopause, the answer is no. While most women do experience some kind of symptoms when hormone production by the ovaries declines, the extent and type of symptoms are extremely varied among different women. Not all women will experience symptoms of menopause in the same way.

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Last Editorial Review: 6/30/2017
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


Patient information: Menopause (Beyond the Basics)