Do All Women Get Menopause?

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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Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


Patient information: Menopause (Beyond the Basics)