Menopause, also known as the climacteric, is the time in most women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children. Menopause typically occurs between 49 and 52 years of age. Medical professionals often define menopause as having occurred when a woman has not had any vaginal bleeding for a year. It may also be defined by a decrease in hormone production by the ovaries. In those who have had surgery to remove their uterus but they still have ovaries, menopause may be viewed to have occurred at the time of the surgery or when their hormone levels fell. Following the removal of the uterus, symptoms typically occur earlier, at an average of 45 years of age.
Before menopause, a woman's periods typically become irregular, which means that periods may be longer or shorter in duration or be lighter or heavier in the amount of flow. During this time, women often experience hot flashes; these typically last from 30 seconds to ten minutes and may be associated with shivering, sweating, and reddening of the skin. Hot flashes often stop occurring after a year or two. Other symptoms may include vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and mood changes. The severity of symptoms varies between women. While menopause is often thought to be linked to an increase in heart disease, this primarily occurs due to increasing age and does not have a direct relationship with menopause. In some women, problems that were present like endometriosis or painful periods will improve after menopause.
Menopause is usually a natural change. It can occur earlier in those who smoke tobacco. Other causes include surgery that removes both ovaries or some types of chemotherapy. At the physiological level, menopause happens because of a decrease in the ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. While typically not needed, a diagnosis of menopause can be confirmed by measuring hormone levels in the blood or urine. Menopause is the opposite of menarche, the time when a girl's periods start.
Specific treatment is not usually needed. Some symptoms, however, may be improved with treatment. With respect to hot flashes, avoiding smoking, caffeine, and alcohol is often recommended. Sleeping in a cool room and using a fan may help. The following medications may help: menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), clonidine, gabapentin, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Exercise may help with sleeping problems. While MHT was once routinely prescribed, it is now only recommended in those with significant symptoms, as there are concerns about side effects. High-quality evidence for the effectiveness of alternative medicine has not been found. There is tentative evidence for soy isoflavones.
Menopause is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal covering all aspects of gynecology dealing with topics related to menopause. It was established in 1994 and is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. The editor-in-chief is Isaac Schiff ( Harvard Medical School). It is an official journal of the North American Menopause Society. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2014 impact factor of 3.361.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Menopause \Men"o*pause\, n. [Gr. mh`n month + ? to cause to cease. See Menses.] (Med.) The period of natural cessation of menstruation. See Change of life, under Change.
n. The ending of menstruation; the time in a woman's life when this happens.
Usage examples of "menopause".
Its wonderful drug Maxatil had helped countless women through the nightmare of menopause, but now it was under attack by the same sharks that had bankrupted A.
Montgomery, Colomb, and Knehel, each, have recorded the birth of twins in women beyond the usual age of the menopause, and there is a case recorded of a woman of fifty-two who was delivered of twins.
Monsieur Bianchi had become an expert on every menopause in the block, every constipation, every little Alka-Seltzer: it was as though he had rummaged in the bathroom cupboard.
To laypeople, menopause is an inevitable fact of life, albeit often a painful one anticipated with foreboding.
Forward-bending poses also massage the organs in the neuroendocrine axis, alleviating mood swings and insomnia associated with menopause and PMS.
In TLC 7, I help you understand the hormone fluctuations of perimenopause, a normal period of change leading up to menopause that usually lasts four to five years, as well as the decline of estrogen during menopause and how this can affect your physical and emotional state.
New research continues to point to soy foods high in phytoestrogens for reducing or erasing the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
For women in perimenopause, or just prior to menopause, the declining levels of the hormone estradiol may increase your chance of poor sleep.
It is thought that Asian women suffer less from the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause than Western women because of the extremely high soy content of their diet.
Natual selection has not programmed menopause into men because of three more cruel facts: men never die in childbirth and rarely die while copulating, and they are less likely than mothers to exhaust themselves caring for infants.
The onset of menopause had already begun, with its strange hot flashes, moments of daffiness, and totally unpredictable menstruations.
A fracture, a burn, a cut, a dropsy, a menopause, a pregnancy, two pelvics, a scattering of colds, a feeding schedule, two teethings, a suspicious lung, a possible gallstone, a cirrhosis of the liver and Martha Anderson.
Hence anthropologists remain undecided whether the two considerations that I have discussed so farinvesting in grandchildren and protecting one's prior investment in existing childrensuffice to offset menopause's foreclosed option of further children and thus to explain the evolution of human female menopause.
The costs of menopause are the potential children that a woman forgoes by undergoing menopause.
It would be worth looking for evidence of menopause in killer whales and a few other species as possible candidates.