Menopause

Menopause is considered to be the permanent end to a woman’s menstruation and fertility cycle. It occurs after 12 continuous months of no menstrual period. Menopause could happen between 40 and 55, but 51 is considered to be the average age.

Menopause is the end of the ovaries functionality. A natural biological process all women go through. Ovaries are the main producers of female hormones that control body characteristics in their body, such as breasts, hair, and body shape. Ovary (female gonad), one of two reproduction glands located in the pelvis, on either side of the uterus; produce eggs (ova) and estrogen (female hormones). One ovary releases an egg monthly during the menstrual cycle. It travels to the uterus through the Fallopian tube (a connecting tube between the ovary and uterus).

Pre-Menopause or Menopause Symptoms

Many women begin experiencing symptoms of pre or perimenopause several years before menopause occurs. The signs when premenopause occurs in women varies. Some women experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their early thirties, some in their forties, and other women may never experience any changes during menopause.

Women, who have had one or both ovaries removed, after a hysterectomies usually experience immediate surgical menopause, as will some hyterectomized women whose ovaries were left intact.

In our (western) cultures, Pre menopause symptoms can start in women from the age of 37 or 38. However, usually these first signs of menopause aren't experienced by women until the age of 40.

Did you know?

Menopause is not actually called 'menopause' until one year after your last period

The first signs of menopause are called peri menopause. This word peri means 'around', though given that menopause officially starts when periods stop for good, this stage covers a long time.

Peri-Menopause Symptoms

  • Hot flashes, night sweats, coldness
  • Irregular periods that can be heavy, light, shorter or longer cycles
  • Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability
  • Dry skin and/or hair loss
  • Heart palpitations (if you experience any heart disturbances, always consult a physician)
  • Difficulty sleeping either getting to sleep or staying asleep
  • Loss of or decreased sexual desire
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Incontinence

Note: Women may experience many other symptoms during the pre-menopause years. Also, menopause symptoms can sometimes be mimicked by other conditions--commonly thyroid disorders--so it's important that anytime you experience changes that are different for you consult your physician.

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