What Happens During Menopause?
Womens Health > What Happens During Menopause?
Menopause is a transition stage that occurs in every woman’s life when her menstrual activity declines and eventually culminates permanently owing to cessation of release of eggs and cut back in estrogen and progesterone production by her ovaries. Menopause indicates the onset of the end of a woman's fertility and childbearing years. It usually comes with a group of uncomfortable symptoms and some new health concerns.
During a woman’s reproductive years, her ovaries produce the hormones: estrogen and progesterone that help keep her monthly cycle go on regularly. However, with the onset of menopause, estrogen production starts to drop and with that, her menstrual flow becomes irregular and her reproductive activity gradually shuts down. The body responds to declining estrogen levels by producing a set of symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, libido, insomnia, fatigue etc, characteristic to menopause. The particular symptoms you experience as well as their severity, varies from woman to woman. Most of these symptoms go with away with time.
Menopause transition may occur within one to ten years. During this period, menstruation is irregular, but conception is possible. However, once a woman reaches post-menopause and her period completely ceases, she can no longer get pregnant.
Menopause is established when a woman has missed her period for a year (12 months in a row) without any other apparent medical cause inducing that cessation. It usually occurs around the age 45-50. However, some women may reach natural menopause as early as late 30s (premature menopause), while some may not go though it until the age 60.
Menopause generally occurs naturally as a woman ages. However, it may also occur due to other reasons such as removal of both the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy), removal of uterus (hysterectomy), by radiation or chemotherapy (usually for the treatment of cancer) that hampers ovarian function, by gland disorders, or extremely poor health.