Tags: Menopause | symptoms | periMenopause | early | Menopause | premenopause | Menopause treatment

What Is Menopause?

Tuesday, 02 Nov 2010 09:40 AM

This article offers a detailed overview of menopause definitions, causes, symptoms, and treatment along with therapy relating to menopause.
Menopause definition: Menopause is defined as the permanent and complete cessation of the menstrual period. Menopause indicates the end of a woman’s fertility. The primary menopause signs that confirm the onset of menopause include absence of menstruation for 12 consecutive months along with symptoms like hot flashes, palpitations, and depression. The onset of menopause in a woman generally takes place at an average age of 51, but the exact age varies from individual to individual. The general age range for the onset of menopause is from 45 to 55. However, some women might reach menopause as early as 40 or as late as 60.
Menopause symptoms: Menopause symptoms depend on the stage of the body’s menopausal process. The hormonal changes responsible for menopause actually begin prior to menopause. This stage is called perimenopause. Perimenopause is associated with the different symptoms caused by hormonal changes. The symptoms that appear during perimenopause can be grouped under three subheads:
1.Urino-genital changes:
·Vaginal dryness due to reduced lubrication
·Reduced elasticity and thinning of the vagina
·Increased frequency of urination
·Increased tendency toward urinary tract infections
2.Vasomotor changes:
·Hot flashes
·Increased palpitation
·Increased perspiration
·Night sweats
3.Neuropsychological changes:
· Mood swings
Hormonal imbalances caused by premenopause and perimenopause, if not treated, can cause severe health hazards like osteoporosis and heart disease. Postmenopausal women might suffer from osteoporosis-related bone fractures. The low level of estrogen results in bone loss in many women. Decreased synthesis of estrogen also accelerates susceptibility to heart attacks.
Early Menopause: Though the average age of occurrence of menopause is around 51, some women might experience early menopause before the age of 40. Early menopause is likely to occur in women who smoke regularly or who have never given birth to a child. Some other causes of early menopause are diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and chemotherapy.
Menopause causes: The transition from the reproductive to the nonreproductive phase is a natural phenomenon. At a certain age, the ovaries stop producing the female hormones estradiol and progesterone. These hormones control reproduction and sexual behavior in females. The fall in the blood level of these female sex hormones is responsible for menopause. Surgical removal of ovaries is also responsible for the onset of sudden menopause.
Menopause treatment: For menopause treatment, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is practiced worldwide. With HRT, either estrogen alone or a combination of estrogen and progesterone is used to treat the symptoms of menopause. HRT is carried out either in the form of pills or patches. In recent years, bioidentical hormone therapy has gained popularity as a  treatment for menopause. Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as the natural hormones synthesized in our body.

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