The climacteric, also known as change of life and menopause, is a natural change process of the female body at the age of 45 to 55. [5] Menopause in its actual sense is the time in a woman's life in which the menstrual cycle ends. [2] The years before are called premenopause and perimenopause, the years after postmenopause. [2] [3]

As of the age of 34, the ovaries start to produce fewer hormones, such as gestagen and estrogens and less follicles come to maturity[3] [5] Premenopause is the five-year period before the last menstruation which can already show first symptoms. After menopause the hormone level decreases, the body levels out at a new hormonal balance. [2] [3]

Around four per cent of women reach their menopause early; before the age of 40, it's called Klimakterium praecox. Reasons can be genetic diseases or cancer. For women with an unfulfilled child wish an early menopause can psychologically be extremely burdening. [4]

There are many climacteric symptoms or menopausal problems, such as hot flushes, heavy sweating, sleeping disorder, mood changes, weight gain, dry mucosae and dizziness. [1] [3] Around a third of all women is strongly affected by these symptoms, another third only feels soft changes and one third hardly suffers any symptoms. [3] In severe cases, a hormone replacement therapy might help although it has disadvantages such as altered cancer risk. At the same time, it's an osteoporosis prevention (bone loss). [3] [5] Alternative medicine such as medicinal herbs or certain food can also provide a soft cure for many discomforts like sleeping disorder, hot flushes etc. [4] [5]

Depending on indidvidual harmony and content with one's own female identity, women might experience the climacteric as a relaxing process in which the body gently changes. For others, this stage of life is very challenging. They might stop feeling like a full-value woman since their fertility draws to an end. However, menopause might also be experienced as sexual liberation due to missing issues like menstruation and contraception. For some, this stage is seen as the last chance to direct their lives into the right channels. [1]

The climacteric is a stage of reversal and change. It offers a chance to redefine and develop one's own femininity. [1]