Pelvis | Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Menopause (Disease)


Menopause is defined as the state of an absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period. Perimenopause means the time around menopause and is often used to refer to the menopausal transitional period. It is not officially a medical term, but is sometimes used to explain certain aspects of the menopause transition in lay terms. Postmenopause is the entire period of time that comes after the last menstrual period.

Menopause is the time in a womans life when the function of the ovaries ceases. The ovary (female gonad), is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) and female hormones such as estrogen. During each monthly menstrual cycle, an egg is released from one ovary. The egg travels from the ovary through a Fallopian tube to the uterus.

Symptoms of menopause brought on by changes in estrogen may include: irregular periods and changes in flow, hot flashes (sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the upper body), vaginal dryness and painful intercourse, night sweats, sleeplessness, mood swings, increased abdominal fat, bladder irritability and worsening of bladder control (incontinence), vaginal infections.

Causes and Risk factors

Menopause occurs when the ovaries begin to stop functioning. The ovaries are the reproductive glands that store and release eggs. They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that together control menstruation. At menopause, your ovaries produce much less of these hormones and they dont release eggs.

Additional causes of menopause include: surgical removal of the ovaries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, primary ovarian insufficiency.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Menopause is a natural and expected part of a womans development and does not need to be prevented. However, risk of long-term problems such as osteoporosis and heart disease can be reduced through different measures.

Treatment for menopause depends on many things, including how bad your symptoms are, your overall health, and your preference. It may include lifestyle changes or hormone therapy. ...