Menopause, the cessation of menses (monthly periods), generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 with the average age of menopause being 52.4 years in the United States. In some countries, menopause is viewed in a favorable light by women and their loved ones. It is seen as a time when there are no more concerns regarding getting pregnant, no more clothing mishaps, and no more pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS).
Older women are revered in many other countries and seen as wise counsel to younger women. Unfortunately, in the United States we still too often see this time as a dreaded time when women are no longer functioning members of society and life is over. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
What Causes Menopause?
What exactly is menopause and why does it happen? As women age, the number of eggs in the ovary and hormonal production begin to decline. This commonly begins to occur around age 45 and is termed peri-menopause.
Ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovary, becomes less frequent and as a result, menstrual periods become irregular and eventually stop. Once menstruation has stopped for a complete year, menopause is said to have occurred and pregnancy is no longer possible.
Symptoms of Menopause
There is as much variation in menopausal symptoms as there are women on earth. Some women breeze through menopause essentially symptom-free, while other women seem to be plagued by every symptom known to woman.
Symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, irregular menstrual cycles, and insomnia can become problematic to name a few.
Every single system in the human body is affected by menopause. The length of time that a woman is having symptoms varies as well with some women having symptoms well into their seventies or eighties.
Although menopause has been a part of life since the beginning of time, our mothers and grandmothers rarely discussed it. As their offspring, we knew that something was different.
Big Momma never used to yell like that, and Aunt Beulah cried at the drop of a hat without any