It is a natural biological process, in which there is absence of normal menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, also it is the time in a woman’s life when the function of the ovaries ceases , which lead to decrease in production of estrogen and progesterone and so no production of female egg , and women become infertile.
That is differ from Perimenopause (time around menopause) as it mean the hormonal changes associated with menopause actually begin prior to the last menstrual period , when women experience of menopausal symptoms.
Menopause is divided into two main parts , Natural menopause , and that defined above and surgical menopause , which defined as, menopause induced by the removal of the ovaries. Women who have had surgical menopause often have a sudden and severe onset of the symptoms of menopause.
Physiological basis of menopause
- The normal menstrual period occur due to :
- good functioning hypothalamus in the brain
- good functioning pituitary glands
- good functioning ovaries
- functioning feedbacks between hypothalamus , pituitary and ovaries
With the onset of the puberty,
The hypothalamus start to produce GnRh (gondotropin releasing hormone ) in pulstile manner , that reach the
Anterior pituitary, which become stimulated and release two types of hormones
- FSH ( follicular stimulating hormone )
- LH (leutinizing hormone )
These hormones reach the ovaries in two main times, Early in the cycle ( FSH mainly released ), Mid cycle ( LH mainly released )
The ovaries respond by releasing estrogen early and both estrogen and progesterone in mid cycle and that lead to formation and release of the ovum and so pregnancy may occur or normal menses occur if there is no fertilization
The menopause occur due to :
There is aging of ovaries that lead to :
- No response to the hormones released from the brain ( hypothalamus and pituitary )
- Decrease or even absence of storing numbers of ova inside ovaries
Which leads to:
- Maximum decrease of circulating estrogen hormone in female body
- Increase anterior pituitary and hypothalamic hormones
Thats finally lead to appearance of menopause symptoms and signs .
The symptoms of the two main categories Natural & surgical menopause are the same, but there is difference in the time , severity, duration and the adaptation for these symptoms , and that difference result from , In natural menopause , there are gradual decrease in female estrogen and progesterone and that give the body chance to accommodate to that hormonal reduction , and usually it occur to old female , which psychologically can adapt to these symptoms, with complete difference in surgical menopause as there is sharp cut off of female hormones, and so there is no chances for the body to accommodate and also if it occur to young female in the beginning of her fertile age , it is completely depressive and that of course lead to more wording in body accommodation and make the symptoms more severe.
Menopause is a new life due to estrogen reduction ,and menopause symptoms occurs mainly due to that reduction , which affect the whole aspects of female life and so there are physical , psychological and also mental aspects , although many menopausal women does not experience these symptoms , but it occur to most of them.
Physical aspect has multiple symptoms which vary according to each female , but the most common and documented are : The Hot flushes or hot flashes or clod flashes , which is transient hotness sensation that spread to the body, creating redness , noticeable mainly in the face and upper part of the body, about 70% of female experience hot flashes .
Night sweats which is sweats occurs mainly at night and it mainly result of hot flashes. Vaginal dryness , it defined as loss of the softening and moist of the normal vaginal wall and it predispose to agonists , vaginal atrophy and also can lead to loss of libido .
Urinary incontinence , which is result of loss of control of urine and there are three types of urinary inconsistence : stress incontinence ,which is the most common type, it occur due to increase of intra abdominal pressure during laughing , cough and sneezing , another types are urge and overflow incontinence
Episodes of sudden increase in heart beating , and it occur mainly in early onset menopause . Breast pain , which is suspicious if it occur with mass and in that case you must consult your physician . Headache, which can occur due to muscular tension.
Skin problems , which mainly softening , cracks of hand , foot and also neck skin , due to lack of supporting collagen and that may predispose to skin abrasion and infection.
Skeletal problems , which mainly osteoporosis due to general reduction of bone mass and that predispose to bone fracture and bone cracks ,and also muscular and joint stiffness.
Mental aspect , there are lot of symptoms like lack of concentration , depression , anxiety and also panic disorder , these symptoms are normally occurring and it can occur to any one , not only menopause women , so do not in your mind , but try to relax your self , manage your time and avoid triggering factors for it . If these symptoms are marked and your relatives notice it , you can visit your family physician for consultation.
N.B. : These symptoms naturally occurs , but you have also to consult your family physician
Natural range of menopause age, differ according to the race , country , and each female body hormones and that result in great range of natural female menopause age , as it is range from 40 to 60 years old , with average 51 years old , but it consider early if it occur before 40 and in that matter its called premature menopause.
In surgical menopause of course , there are specifics menopause age , and its occur after the time of the operation ,so the female may be young or old age . surgical menopause is a cause of premature menopause.Read More