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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is Menopause: Facts, Causes And Symptoms

Menopause Facts

Menopause marks the end of the reproductive phase of a woman’s life. When a woman ages, her body experiences many changes and a lot of them are triggered by the hormonal changes brought on by menopause the end of the menstrual cycle. While many may regard as a blessing, it is important to understand how it affects the body.

What triggers menopause?

With the arrival of the mid-forties, the ovaries reduce the production of the sex hormones, namely progesterone and estrogen. Apart from impacting a woman’s health and certain physical aspects, these hormones are collectively responsible for
  1. Ovulation - the process by which an egg is released by the ovaries into the fallopian tubes.
  2. Normal development and function of the uterus
  3. Growth of breasts
  4. Preparation of the lining of the uterus to accept the fertilized egg.

The most common age for menopause:

Ages between 40 up to 60 are considered normal for the onset of menopause in the Western World. Women typically get their last period at the age of 51 (average estimated). Changes in the menstrual cycle marking the end of the fertility period occurring earlier than 45 years of age is referred to as “early menopause” whereas later than 55 years is considered “late menopause”.

Premature menopause:

It so happens at times that menopause occurs before the age of 40. Such cases are regarded as falling under “premature menopause” and are often the result of autoimmune disorders, genetics or medical procedures such at chemotherapy or removal of ovaries.

Another reason for early menopause is “premature ovarian failure”. For reasons not yet known, this happens when the ovaries halt the production of eggs thus triggering changes in the hormone profile. This is not necessarily a permanent situation though, unlike premature menopause.

Symptoms of menopause:

As per the experts, one year without your period confirms the arrival of menopause. The initial phase when menopause kicks in, known as “peri-menopause”, may persist for 3 to 5 years when estrogen levels start dipping.

You may start experiencing the symptoms well before that one-year period begins. Mentioned below is a list of a few symptoms of menopause.
  • Irregular periods – Not every woman faces the same symptoms but this is generally the first sign. Your   period may become irregular or you might end up skipping over them for months at time.
  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and other mood swings
  • Joint or muscle ache
  • Altered libido
  • Dry or itchy vagina
When the body has to do away with estrogen, it becomes susceptible to a number of health risks including osteoporosis and heart disease. But there is no need to panic- understanding menopause is the key to coping with it.

Carolina Monroe Written by: Carolina
Way To Be Healthy Updated at: 7:45 PM

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