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WHAT IS MENOPAUSE
Summary: A discussion on the most crucial time in a woman's life -- menopause.
Are you one of those who avoided this topic like you would avoid a person with AIDS? Or are you one of those who can't wait for it to happen? Over the years, people have different stands and views on menopause. So what is it really? Is it a cause for concern or a time for rejoicing? When is it going to happen and will I feel anything?
These are only some of the questions that women all over the world have been asking about. First, let's define menopause. It is a medical term when a woman permanently ends her menstrual periods. Before you start exclaiming hallelujah, there's a lot more you need to know about it.
While menopause is a natural 'phenomenon' and is not considered an illness or disease, it is associated with certain health problems like osteoporosis and heart disease. However, this does not mean that you are going to suffer from these two health problems during menopause. The low estrogen levels during menopause may increase your risks of heart disease and the loss of bone density.
Even if menopause is a natural occurrence in a woman's body, let's delve deeper into what really causes it. A woman's ovaries, which store her eggs, are also tasked to produce the estrogen and progesterone needed to regulate menstruation and ovulation. When the ovaries fail to produce an egg every month, menstruation stops and menopause happens.
Menopause usually occurs after a woman turned 40, which is a normal aspect of aging. However, some women experience menopause early, some of which are due to medical treatments like chemotherapy, while others are because the ovaries are damaged. Either way, if menopause happens earlier than usual, it is considered as premature menopause.
Natural menopause is not an abrupt process and there are three stages describing it. These are: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. The first stage happens way before the actual menopause does. The ovaries at this point are producing lesser estrogen than usual. As the actual menopause nears, the decrease in estrogen production heightens, bringing about menopausal symptoms. Menopause is assessed when a woman hasn't had menstruation for 12 consecutive months. This stage signals the end of estrogen production and release of eggs. The third stage happens years after the actual menopause. Menopausal symptoms will lessen in most women but the health risks will rise due to estrogen loss.
Menopause may be an end to long bouts with PMS and other menstruation discomforts. However, it brings new challenges to women. Proper health care practices are encouraged to make menopause more of a welcome thought than a scary reality.