the period of permanent cessation of menstruation, usually occurring between the ages of 45 and 55.
Menopause: The time in a woman’s life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also called the “change of life.” Menopause is the opposite of the menarche.
Menopause is defined as the time when there has been no menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified. It is the end of fertility, the end of the childbearing years. (A woman may still, however, be able to become pregnant unless 12 consecutive months have passed without a period.)
A woman can usually tell if she is approaching menopause because her menstrual periods starts changing. The medical terms used to describe this time are “perimenopause” and the “menopause transition.”
Natural menopause occurs when the ovaries naturally begin decreasing their production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Induced menopause occurs if the ovaries are surgically removed (by bilateral oophorectomy) or damaged by radiation or drugs. Due to the abrupt cutoff of ovarian hormones, induced menopause causes the sudden onset of hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms such as a dry vagina and a decline in sex drive. Early menopause (before age 40), whether natural or induced, carries a greater risk for heart disease and osteoporosis since there are more years spent beyond the protective cover of estrogen.
A “simple” hysterectomy (when the uterus but not the ovaries are removed) before natural menopause should not affect the production of sex hormones and so not cause menopause (unless the nerves or blood supply to the ovaries is damaged during the hysterectomy).
The timing of natural menopause is variable. In the western world the average age is now 51. Natural menopause can, however, be in a woman’s 30s or 60s. Factors influencing the time of menopause include heredity (genetics) and cigarette smoking. Smokers (and former smokers) reach menopause an average of 2 years before women who have never smoked.
There is no relation between the time of a woman’s first period and her age at menopause. The age at menopause is not influenced by a woman’s race, height, number of children or use of oral contraceptives.
The changes of the menopause transition (perimenopause) begin about 6 years before the natural menopause. This is a time when the levels of hormones produced by the aging ovaries fluctuate leading to irregular menstrual patterns (irregularity in the length of the period, the time between periods, and the level of flow) and hot flashes (a sudden warm feeling with blushing). Other changes associated with the perimenopause and menopause include night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, fluctuations in sexual desire (libido), forgetfulness, trouble sleeping and fatigue (probably from the loss of sleep).
Menopause was always the secret. You would hear the older women in the family speak about it, like a disease. A few family myths, you can mentally go crazy during menopause. It was conversed as a secret amongst the women. Me the up and coming baby boomer. I told my adult daughter how happy I was to be in menopause, she said, Mom no one is ever happy about menopause. I told her because they don’t know how to accept, maturity.
1. Sex is great, because I mentally make it great.
2. I pressure my husband because he’s not giving up the beef enough.
3. Hotflashes are awesome when your home. I just take all my clothes off and walk in the house butt-naked. My husband shakes his head.
4. Committed with my Life Purpose. ABUSE AWARENESS & Prevention
5. Exercise. Bikram Yoga works for me every 5 days.
6. Eating Healthy~ changed my diet, eating home cooked meals, less salt, more fish and chicken. No fried foods.
7. Love my grandkids (especially on timed visits)
8. More understanding to my family. (hear them and sometimes I don’t)
9. Running for the gold in 2013. Represent a CAUSE you believe IN.
10. Understand Menopause does not mean, stop working all the body parts.
11. Vaginal dryness~good old vaseline, a great motion lotion.
Get Involved with a Cause, you have more heart, conviction when your 50 & know how to live well.
Sending Love Your Way