Menopause is the cessation of periods.It is generally between the age of 45- 50 years. It is a normal aging process. It is due to low production of hormone, estrogen. Menopause occurs after 1 year of amenorrhoea. Get more information on menopause, read on.
What is menopause
Menopause is derived from the Greek word menos (month) and pause (to stop) refers to the last menstrual period and is generally considered to have occurred after 1 year of amenorrhoea. At the age of 45- 50 years:
The sexual cycles in a female usually
Ovulation fails to occur during many
of the cycles.
After a few months to a few years, the
cycles cease and the female sex hormones diminish rapidly to almost none
at all. Sometimes the phrase 'the change of life' is used and often doctors
use the term 'climacteric'.
Whom does menopause
Menopause, occurring on an average
at the age of 45, is a normal event but it leads to much pathology in excess
of that of the normal aging process. The average age of menopause has not
changed for centuries. The age of menopause seems unrelated to socioeconomic
factors, race, weight or height although severe malnutrition or cigarette
smoking may result in an earlier onset.
The real importance of menopause
today lies in the increasing longevity of the 20th century woman. With
the increased longevity, women will now spend a third of their lives in
the postmenopausal state (characterized by estrogen deficiency) attendant
to many long-term symptomatic and metabolic complications.
Why does menopause
The cause of menopause is 'burning
out' of the ovaries. The aging of the ovary begins even before birth when
a progressive decline in the number of primordial follicles compresses.
The percentage of growing follicles increases substantially at puberty
and is maintained throughout reproductive life and declines in the climacteric
period (period of time around menopause).
Natural menopause: Estrogens
are produced in sub critical quantities for a short time after menopause,
but over a few years falls almost to zero.
"Artificial" menopause: Besides
natural menopause, loss of ovarian function can also occur in patients
receiving pelvic radiation or chemotherapy or those having ovarian failure
or bilateral surgical removal of ovaries.
What are the different
phases of menopause
Menopause can be divided into three
Pre-menopause: There is a little
disruption of the ovarian function and the menstrual cycle remains regular.
Some symptoms may begin to occur in this phase.
Peri-menopause: This phase represents
declining ovarian function with menstrual irregularities and symptoms commonly
start or become troublesome during this time.
Post-menopause: Once there have
been no menses for 12 months the post-menopause phase is entered.
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