Menopause Menstruation is a normal, natural shedding process of the uterine lining that occurs monthly in all healthy adult women after puberty. The parts of the body involved in the menstrual cycle include the brain, uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and vagina. The ovaries are glands that produce certain hormones and contain tissue sacs in which eggs develop. In response to hormones from the brain an egg in one of the ovaries matures and travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized by a sperm, the thickened lining of the uterus consisting of blood-filled uterine tissue is shed. This cycle happens every month. Menopause is the natural cessation of this cycle when the ovaries stop making hormones called estrogen. This typically occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 60. Frequently menopause is characterized by hot flashes, sudden intense waves of heat and sweating. In the long term, some women experience problems linked to the low levels of estrogen found after menopause. These may include osteoporosis, increased risk for heart disease, mood changes and depression. Hormone Replacement Therapy - HRT is a treatment for these symptoms of menopause. As the name suggests, it 'puts back' some of the hormones that the ovaries have stopped producing. HRT can be administered in the form of pills, patches, gels, or implants and is individualized for each woman in consultation with her physician.