What is Menopause

menopauseWhen a woman goes under menopause, it means that she has lost her fertility and the ability to reproduce. This is a natural change that occurs during the midlife of a woman and it should not be feared. During this stage, there will be absence of menstrual flow signaling the permanent cessation of the ripening and release of ova and hormones.

Although the process is natural, it does not happen in an abrupt manner. It takes time, sometimes months or years depending on the case of a woman. The transition years is accompanied by a number of signs and effects like hot flashes and mood swings. Menopause can be really challenging as it can greatly affect the daily activities and sense of well-being of a woman.

Signs and Symptoms

During menopause, each woman’s body has a varying response to the dropping levels of her hormones and her experience may be different from other women as well. Generally, the menstrual periods of women become erratic and irregular. Some women may experience shorter periods while others, longer. The duration of the flow becomes unpredictable too as some may suffer from heavy flows and other have lighter ones.

A woman may also experience itching and tingling sensations all over her body that may cause irritability. Some women even undergo palpitations, memory problems, anxiety and depression. The following are the effects of this natural stage, perimenopause and post menopause:

  • Hot flushes
  • Mood swings
  • Skin drying
  • Vaginal atrophy
  • Migraine
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dysfunctional bleeding

Causes of Menopause

As mentioned earlier, menopause is a normal stage in a woman’s lifecycle. The age they experience the signs as well as the intensity of the effects may vary from person to person.

Age. The age range that a woman undergoes menopause is from 40 to 61 years old with the average age for the last menstrual period being at 51. There are women who experience menopause at an early age wherein their ovaries cease to function. This is usually referred to as the premature ovarian failure (POF).

Premature ovarian failure. This condition happens when high blood levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) take place on 3 occasions that are at least 4 weeks apart. POF is usually caused by thyroid disease, diabetes, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and many more.

Surgical menopause. Menopause can be caused by a medical operation wherein the ovaries of a woman are removed. However, this is a very rare case and is often done in conjunction with the removal of the uterus and fallopian tubes.

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