Women's life stages

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Women's life stages are based on the reproductive cycle, beginning with menstruation and ending with menopause.

To understand women's life stages, start with the biology. Every month an egg is released from the ovary during ovulation. It travels down the fallopian tube, where it might be fertilized by a sperm. If fertilized, it implants in the lining of the uterus. If not, the egg and lining are shed during menstruation. This continues until perimenopause — the time when a woman's body begins the natural transition to menopause.

Women's life stages are often marked by specific signs and symptoms, such as menstrual cramps, mood swings, hot flashes and weight gain. Understand how healthy lifestyle choices can help you feel your best at any stage — and know when to ask your doctor for additional suggestions.

Apr. 04, 2014