What is Menopause?

Middle age woman in deep thought


Menopause is defined as a lack of menstruation for one full year. It begins when you can no longer become pregnant naturally. Menopause generally begins between the ages of 45 and 55 but can develop before or after this age range. Consequently, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes and weight gain. So for most women medical treatment is not needed for menopause.

Why does Menopause Occur?

Menopause is a natural process that occurs as the ovaries age and produce less reproductive hormones. As a result, one of the most notable changes is the loss of active ovarian follicles. So ovarian follicles are the structures that produce and release eggs from the ovary wall, allowing menstruation and fertility. In addition, menopause can be induced or caused by injury or surgical removal of the ovaries and related pelvic structures.

Several changes the body undergoes in response to lower levels of:

  • Estrogen.
  • Progesterone.
  • Testosterone.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH).

Early Signs of Menopause

  • Firstly, less frequent menstruation.
  • Secondly, heavier or lighter periods than you normally experience.
  • Thirdly, vasomotor symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and flushing.
  • And lastly, an estimated 75 percent of women experience hot flashes with menopause.

Other Symptoms of Menopause may Include:

  • Insomnia.
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • Weight gain.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Memory problems.
  • Reduced libido or sex drive.
  • Dry skin, mouth and eyes.
  • Increased urination.
  • Sore or tender breasts.
  • Headaches.
  • Racing heart.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Reduced muscle mass.
  • Painful or stiff joints.
  • Reduced bone mass.
  • Less full breasts.
  • Hair thinning or loss.
  • Increased hair growth on other areas of the body, such as the face, neck, chest, and upper back.

Complications of Menopause Include:

  • Vulvovaginal atrophy.
  • Dyspareunia, or painful intercourse.
  • Slower metabolic function.
  • Osteoporosis, or weaker bones with reduced mass and strength.
  • Mood or sudden emotional changes.
  • Cataracts.
  • Periodontal disease.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Lastly, heart or blood vessel disease.


Further, you may require treatment if your symptoms are severe or affecting your quality of life. As a result, hormone therapy may be an effective treatment in women under the age of 60, or within 10 years of menopause.

Reduction and management of these symptoms for instance:

  • Hot flashes.
  • Night sweats.
  • Flushing.
  • Vaginal atrophy.
  • Osteoporosis.

Natural supplements and nutrients that may help limit symptoms include:

  • Firstly, soy.
  • Secondly, vitamin E.
  • Thirdly, isoflavone.
  • Fourthly, melatonin.
  • Lastly, flax seed.

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To read more about menopause, click here.