What is Menopause?
Menopause (also called the change of life) is the transition period in a woman's life when the ovaries stop producing eggs. When the ovaries stop producing eggs, menstrual activity decreases and eventually ceases, and the body decreases the production of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Menopause affects individual women differently. In some women, menstrual activity stops suddenly. In other women, menstrual activity tapers off until it completely stops. It may take up to 3 years for the menstrual cycle to completely stop. Menopause is a natural event.
When does Menopause occur?
The occurrence of menopause is different for each woman. It usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 55. The age of when menopause occurs is affected by several factors, including:
What are the Symptoms of Menopause?
The major symptoms of menopause are:
Each of these symptoms are a result of hormonal changes. Hot flashes are caused by an increase of blood flow in the blood vessels of the face, neck, chest and back. Vaginal dryness is caused by thinning of the tissues of the vaginal wall, are the two side effects most frequently complained about. The mood changes and lack of sex drive may result partially from the hormone decrease, but may also result from having to deal with hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Can Menopause be prevented?
No. Menopause is a natural event that will occur to all women.
Hot flashes are caused by rapid decreases in estrogen levels. Unfortunately hot flashes cannot be prevented. However, they can be helped and made less uncomfortable.
For additional information, please consult your physician.