Overview

The term ‘menopause’ means cessation of menstruation during the time of the climacteric. The climacteric is the transition period in a woman’s life when the ovaries stop producing eggs regularly. Production of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone declines, and menstruation decreases and eventually stops.
Menopause is also sometimes called ‘change of life’. The exact event of menopause (the permanent cessation of menstruation) can only be determined retrospectively after no menstrual periods have occurred for 12 consecutive months. The range for the age of natural menopause is approximately between 48 to 55 years old.

 

Symptoms

• Hot flushes (occurring in approximately 60% of women)
• Sweats (often at night)
• Tiredness
• Headaches
• Joint and bone pain
• Palpitations
• Unusual skin sensations
• Vaginal dryness, incontinence and infections of the urinary tract and vagina may occur due to the thinning of the vagina and bladder walls
• Anxiety
• Reduced interest in sex
• Irritability and mood swings
• Difficulty concentrating
• Loss of confidence
• Forgetfulness
• Difficulty sleeping
• Depression