Let's learn about menopause

Let's learn about menopause

What is menopause?

Menopause is the phase in a woman's life when the production of the estrogen hormone falls to very low levels permanently. During this time the ovaries stop producing eggs, and the regular menstrual cycle of the woman stop forever. Menopause occurs naturally in most women, with approaching age between the age group of 35 to 60. Medically a woman is in menopause when she misses her regular periods for over a year and there is no other biological or physiological cause evident for it. Why does menstruation stop? Menstruation is directly connected to the production of the female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) by the ovaries. During the pre-menopausal years, generally between ages 40 and 50, the ovaries gradually reduce production and secretion of these two hormones. By the end of this 5 to 10 year period, ovarian function — as well as menstruation — has stopped altogether. After being menstruation free for 12 months, a woman is considered menopausal.

What is menopause?

Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. It can sometimes happen earlier naturally. Or for reasons such as surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) or the uterus (hysterectomy), cancer treatments like chemotherapy, or a genetic reason. Sometimes the reason is unknown. Perimenopause is when you have symptoms before your periods have stopped. You reach menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months. Menopause and perimenopause can cause symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods.

These symptoms can start years before your periods stop and carry on afterwards. Menopause and perimenopause symptoms can have a big impact on your life, including relationships and work. There are things you can do to help with symptoms. There are also medicines that can replace the missing hormones and help relieve your symptoms.

Common symptoms of menopause and perimenopause

Menopause and perimenopause symptoms can have a big impact on your daily life, including relationships, social life, family life and work. It can feel different for everyone. You may have a number of symptoms or none. Symptoms usually start months or years before your periods stop. This is called the perimenopause. Changes to your periods The first sign of the perimenopause is usually, but not always, a change in the normal pattern of your periods, for example they become irregular. Eventually you'll stop having periods altogether.

Mental health symptoms

Common mental health symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include: changes to your mood, like low mood, anxiety, mood swings and low self-esteem problems with memory or concentration (brain fog).

Common symptoms of menopause and perimenopause

Physical symptoms Common physical symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include: hot flushes, when you have sudden feelings of hot or cold in your face, neck and chest which can make you dizzy difficulty sleeping, which may be a result of night sweats and make you feel tired and irritable during the day palpitations, when your heartbeats suddenly become more noticeable headaches and migraines that are worse than usual muscle aches and joint pains changed body shape and weight gain skin changes including dry and itchy skin reduced sex drive vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)

What is premature or early menopause?

Menopause, whether natural or induced, is called premature when it happens at age 40 or younger. This occurs in about 1% of women in the United States. Premature menopause that is not induced can be genetic, metabolic, autoimmune, or the result of other poorly understood conditions. Menopause that occurs before age 40 should be evaluated thoroughly.

What is induced menopause?

Induced menopause refers to menstrual periods that stop after surgical removal of the ovaries, chemotherapy or radiation damage to the ovaries, or from the use of other medications to intentionally induce menopause as part of the treatment of certain diseases. Women who have induced menopause experience the hot flashes, vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and other symptoms of menopause but without the gradual onset of a natural menopause. Seek out a certified menopause practitioner for help finding information about and your options when undergoing induced menopause.

What is primary ovarian insufficiency?

Primary ovarian insufficiency is a condition in which younger women, sometimes as young as in their teens, skip many periods in a row or have no periods at all. A blood test may report signs of menopause and of very few eggs left in the ovaries. Ovulation may still occur once in a while, so pregnancy is possible even though it appears as though a woman is in menopause. Women with this condition should talk to their clinicians about possible associated conditions, psychological support, childbearing options, and whether contraception or hormone therapy is appropriate. Even though there are several known causes of primary ovarian insufficiency, there is still a lot to be learned.



Menopause - Symptoms - NHS (www.nhs.uk) Menopause FAQs: Premature, Early, and Induced Menopause Menopause Symptoms, Cause and Treatment in New York City (patientsmedical.com)

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