Age is the leading cause of menopause. It signals the end of periods and a woman’s potential childbearing years. The function of the ovaries slows down. Menopause can occur also due to certain surgery/medical treatment such as surgical removal of the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy), chemotherapy, and pelvic radiation therapy. A hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) without removing the ovaries does not lead to menopause.