Menopause is the cessation of the fertile period of a woman's life that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years and is signaled by ceased production of the hormone estrogen. During menopause, a woman's ovaries stop making eggs and they produce less estrogen and progesterone. Periods occur less often and eventually stop. This can happen suddenly, but most frequently, periods slowly stop over time. Symptoms vary from woman to woman, but occur during a period of five years or longer. They may include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, decreased libido, irritability, incontinence and vaginal dryness. Learn more about the symptoms and complications associated with menopause in this slideshow.