What is Menopause

Every woman comes to the point in her life that marks the end of her periods and the beginning of menopause. To many, menopause is disconcerting and can be hard to recognize at first. In truth, this is a natural condition, and once you know and understand it, you realize that this is just the next step of womanhood.

Menopause refers to the end of a woman's natural menstrual cycle, and it is medically determined once menstruation has been absent for 12 months. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 60, but it can begin when a women is in her late 30s.

How Does Menopause Occur?

Menopause occurs when a woman's ovaries cease producing estrogen, which prompts menstrual cycles to cease. Menopause can also be started when something else causes the ovaries to cease their functions, such as removal due to disease.

What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?

Symptoms of menopause can be mild to severe, depending on the woman. The most distinguishable symptom is hot flashes, termed as such because of the unexpected bouts of heat and sweating that can come at any time. Hot flashes can sometimes be so intense that they can distract and disturb the patient from normal daily habits, such as sleeping. Other symptoms can include mood swings, irregular periods, vaginal or urinary infections, incontinence problems, and some problems with sexual activities. Some women notice slight variations in their skin, digestive systems and hair due to fluctuating hormone levels. Low levels of estrogen can also increase the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease in some women.

Is There Any Cure for Menopause?

There is no cure for this natural occurrence, but there are new and developing programs such as hormone replacement therapy that can be used to help women who want to cease menopause. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking hormone replacement therapy, as some doctors recommend against it in cases where ovarian cancer runs in the family. Often a doctor will recommend natural progesterone to help with the symptoms of menopause.