Menopause Definition and Transition from reproductive to menopause

The word “menopause” is derived from Greek (men– monthly and pausis– cessation), literally meaning “end of monthly cycles”. Menopause means natural end of fertility in humans as well as some animals.

Definition of menopause:

Menopause can be defined as the day after a woman’s menstruation stops permanently, provided the woman has a functional uterus (because menstruation may stop permanently in case of some medical conditions). There is permanent cessation of the primary functions of the human ovaries after menopause (such as ripening as well as release of ova, release of hormones which are responsible for lining of uterus as well as shedding of the lining of uterus i.e. menstruation).

Generally menopause occurs in the midlife of women, which is between 45 and 55 years of age, with some exceptions (such as endometriosis, cancer of reproductive organs, PCOS or poly cystic ovarian syndrome etc.). Menopause indicates end of fertility in a women (a woman can not become pregnant), i.e. a woman becomes non reproductive from being a reproductive.

Transition from reproductive to menopause (non reproductive):

Menopause or transition from reproductive to non reproductive occurs due to reduced production of female hormones by ovaries. The transition (reduced production of female hormones by ovaries) does not occur suddenly/abruptly, occur gradually and take years, which is natural consequence of aging.

For majority of women the transition occurs quietly, but for some women the transition may be eventful (may significantly disrupt their daily activities and health in general) and may create many health problems, which needs appropriate medical attention.

Why all women should have clear understanding about menopause?

As menopause is an unavoidable natural event in a woman’s life a proper understanding about the natural/physiological event (i.e. menopause) by every women is of utmost important to prevent anxiety, depression and associated symptoms (physiological and pathological), get medical attention when required and make the transition from reproductive to non reproductive smoothly.

If you understand menopause, you will have an idea about what to expect at a particular age and take necessary steps available for assisting smooth transition.

When a doctor declares menopause?

Your doctor may declare menopause officially when you have amenorrhea for a complete year, in absence of pregnancy, and with intact uterus.

Special Note: Sometimes your menstruation may not be there for more than a year, but you may not have reached menopause. For example, in case of hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus), without removal of both ovaries, your menses may stop permanently, but you may not be in menopause, because your ovaries are still functioning and producing female hormones.

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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1 Comment

  • james anabel June 27, 2012 10.03 am

    It is very important article for women. Because it is very important part of women life.

    Reply 

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