Menopause

Synonyms: “The change of life”

Medical Specialties: Cardiology, Endocrinology, Obstetrics/gynecology


Clinical Definition

When a woman’s ovaries no longer release eggs and she hasn’t menstrated in one year, she has entered menopause. It marks the end of a woman’s reproductive period, when her body begins to produce less estrogen and progesterone.


In Our Own Words

A women officially enters menopause when she hasn’t had a menstrual cycle in one year, which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. After menopause, a woman can no longer become pregnant. While every woman is affected differently by menopause, it can be characterized by symptoms such as hot flashes, moodiness and irregular sleep. 

 

Because a woman’s body begins to produce less estrogen and progesterone after menopause, post-menopausal women are more prone to several health problems, including osteoporosis and heart disease.  

Relevant Conditions
  • Coronary artery disease (i.e., heart disease)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypertension
Side Effects
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vaginal dryness
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sources
  • Cleveland Clinic. “What is Perimenopause, Menopause, & Postmenopause?” Updated May 2013. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/menopause/hic-what-is-perimenopause-menopause-postmenopause.aspx. Accessed September 2013.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Preventation. “Women’s Reproductive Health: Menopause.” Updated February 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth//WomensRH/Menopause.htm. Accessed September 2013.
  • Harvard Health Publications. “Medical Dictionary of Health Terms.” http://www.health.harvard.edu/medical-dictionary-of-health-terms/j-through-p#M-terms. Accessed September 2013.
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