Menopause is the physiological cessation of menstrual cycles associated with advancing age in women. Menopause is defined as absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period. Perimenopause means “around the time of menopause.” It is not officially a medical term, but is sometimes used to explain certain aspects of the menopause transition in lay terms. Many women experience a variety of symptoms as a result of the hormonal changes associated with the transition through menopause. Postmenopause is the entire period of time that comes after the last menstrual period. The menopause is sometimes referred to as change of life or climacteric.
The condition also exists in some of the other species that experience such cycles, such as rhesus monkeys and some cetaceans. Menopause is a natural biological process, not a medical illness. Several generations ago, few women lived beyond menopause. Today, you may spend as much as half of your life after menopause. Menopause affects every woman differently. Your only symptom may be your period stopping. You may have other symptoms, too. Many symptoms at this time of life are because of you Menopause is a natural process that happens to every woman as she grows older, and is not a medical problem, disease or illness.
Some women may have a hard time because of the changes in hormone levels during menopause. Premature menopause (or premature ovarian failure) is defined as menopause occurring before the age of 40; it occurs in 1% of women. Other causes of premature menopause include autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, and diabetes mellitus. Menopause experiences are different among individual women, and also among women in different cultures and in different parts of the world. There are many possible signs of menopause and each woman feels them differently. Most women have no or few menopausal symptoms while some women have many moderate or severe symptoms include is weight gain; hot flashes; insomnia; night sweats; vaginal dryness; joint pain; fatigue and urinary tract infections.
Causes of Menopause
Symptoms of Menopause
Treatment of Menopause
Take estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is a combination of estrogen and progesterone, should be an individualized choice. There are three (3) types of replacement therapy:1. Estrogen alone via a pill (Premarin, Ogen, Estrace or ethinyl estradiol), a cream (Premarin or Dienestrol), a vaginal pill (Vagifem), or as a transdermal or skin patch (Estraderm or Estracomb). 2. Cyclical therapy: Estrogen taken daily via a pill or via a patch and a separate progesterone pill (such as Provera) for a certain number of days per month. 3. Continuous therapy: Estrogen plus low dose progesterone in one or two pills taken every day.
Estrogen vaginal tablets and creams are generally prescribed nightly for 2 weeks, and then reduced to twice per week as a long-term “maintenance therapy.” Phytoestrogens are found in soy products (e.g., tofu, tempeh, miso, soybean milk, and meat substitutes and soy powders for adding to foods or to smoothies), in linseed (flaxseed) products, and to a lesser extent, in fruits, vegetables, cereals, and seeds. Concentrated plant estrogens in tablet form have not been shown to be effective. Regular exercise also has benefits for other parts of the body, high blood pressure, and diabetes, as well as gives you more energy and better sleep. Herbal medicine has much to offer women in the treatment of symptoms associated with menopause.