Menopause definition – menopause is a naturally occurring stage in women life which means the cessation of menstrual periods – it is a time of the end of women’s reproductive function and reproductive years. Medically it is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months – usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. During this period of life women’s reproductive system changes, resulting in a discontinuation of estrogen production, the menstrual cycle, and egg maturation.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a naturally occurring transition period of women life which is happening before menopause – it is the time when your body begins its transition. Perimenopause is the stage of women’s reproductive life that begins several years before end of menstrual cycles, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogens. It usually starts in women’s 40s. Sometimes perimenopause is called “premenopause”.
Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months.
Menopause definition – Menopause types
Medicine recognizes few types:
- Normal Menopause
- Premature or Early Menopause
- Surgical (Artificially Induced) Menopause
Normal usually starts at the end of women reproductive period (after 45-50) and defined a new stage of women body development.
Premature could start before the age of 40 which is not normal. Main causes include hormonal dysfunctions, surgical procedures and/or inherited undeveloped reproductive system.
Surgical (Artificially Induced) could start at any age of women in reproductive age and always provoked by serious medical interventions – surgical treatment of reproductive organs, removal of ovaries, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Women who have both ovaries removed during surgery will go through “surgical menopause” at the time of their surgery. If the uterus is taken out but the ovaries are not, a woman will stop having periods, but she will still have her hormones.
Menopause definition – What is Postmenopause?
Period of time after menopause called postmenopause which means end of all menopausal symptoms. During postmenopause usually ovaries are “sleeping” and levels of women hormones are pretty low without any cyclic changes.
Menopause definition – When menopause should be expected?
In general in healthy women it should be expected after 45-50. But the timing can be different for each woman depending on hormones, lifestyle, contraception methods, stresses, etc. Genetic and family history is also very important – woman often goes through same symptoms at about the same age as her mother and/or grandmother. By the way, age of this period of life could be detected.
As menopause is a gradual process, it can take several years for menopause to come (premenopause, perimenopause).
Menopause definition – Menopause main symptoms
Number of symptoms could reach 35-45 including main and little (not typical). But most typical menopause symptoms include menstrual dysfunctions, hot flashes, sleep disturbances and changes in sexual desires.
Change of the menstrual cycle is one of the first signs of menopause. Some women just stop having periods but most women at the beginning of menopause experience irregular late or short periods or unexpected bleeding or heavy periods.
Hot flashes are the most frequent symptoms which many women experience during premenopause, perimenopause and menopause, but not all women undergoing menopause experience hot flashes. Hot flash is a momentary sensation of heat that may be accompanied by a red, flushed face and sweating.
Hot flash is a feeling of warmth that spreads over the body and often most strongly felt in the head and neck regions – the sudden, intense, hot feeling on your face and upper body, perhaps preceded or accompanied by a rapid heartbeat and sweating, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, headache and/or weakness.
About 85%-90% of menopausal women experience different types of weight gain. In most cases the additional pounds ravage woman´s self-esteem and self-image. In addition, the weight gain can usher in a host of health concerns that put a woman at risk of developing life-threatening conditions.
In general weight gain takes place when a woman increases her body mass, whether as a result of fat deposits, additional muscle tissue, or excess fluid. But weight gain associated with menopause typically involves increased amounts of fat around the mid-section.
At menopause women gain about 12-15 pounds – the most weight usually accumulate around the abdomen and women often notice the shape of their bodies slowly lose their hour-glass figure and begin to take on a rounder shape.
During menopause usually the skin of vagina and vulva becomes thinner. Menopausal vagina can also lose its ability to produce as much lubrication (wetness) during sexual arousal. These changes can lead to pain during sex.
Urinary tract problems
Some women in menopause experience bladder and/or urinary tract infections with very typical symptoms including frequent urination, burning sensation during and after urination or difficulties to urinate.
Other menopause symptoms
Headaches, night sweats, trouble sleeping and tiredness are other symptoms. Trouble sleeping and feeling tired may be caused by hot flashes and night sweats that keep you from getting a good night’s rest.
Menopause emotional symptoms
Many women experience emotional symptoms:
- Mood swings,
Sometimes menopause women have severe emotional symptoms which could create a lot of problems in families and working places.
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