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Encyclopedia > Menopause

The word menopause literally means the permanent physiological, or natural, cessation of menstrual cycles, from the Greek roots 'meno' (month) and 'pausis' (a pause, a cessation). In other words, menopause means the natural and permanent stopping of the monthly female reproductive cycles, and in humans this is usually indicated by a permanent absence of monthly periods or menstruation. Menstrual cycle In the female reproductive system, the menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiologic changes that occurs in reproductive age females of several mammals, including human beings and other apes. ... Reproduction is the creation of one thing as a copy of, product of, or replacement for a similar thing, e. ... Not to be confused with Mensuration. ...


The word is commonly used in regard to human females, where menopause happens more or less in midlife, signaling the end of the fertile phase of a woman's life. Menopause is perhaps most easily understood as the opposite process to menarche. Fertility is the natural capability of giving life. ... Menarche (IPA: ) is the first menstrual period, or first menstrual bleeding in the females of human beings. ...


Menopause in women cannot however simply be defined as the permanent "stopping of the monthly periods", because in reality what is happening to the uterus is quite secondary to the process. For medical reasons, the uterus is sometimes surgically removed (hysterectomy) in a younger woman, and after this her periods will cease permanently and the woman will technically be infertile, but as long as her ovaries (or one ovary) are, or is, still functioning, the woman will not be in menopause. This is because even without the uterus, ovulation, and the release of the sequence of reproductive hormones that are an essential part of the reproductive cycles, will continue until the time of menopause is reached. This article is about female reproductive anatomy. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Human female internal reproductive anatomy Ovaries are a part of a female organism that produces eggs. ... Ovulation is the process in the menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg) that participates in reproduction. ...


Menopause is in fact triggered by the faltering and shutting down (or surgical removal) of the ovaries, which are a part of the body's endocrine system of hormone production, in this case the hormones which make reproduction possible and influence sexual behavior. Human female internal reproductive anatomy Ovaries are a part of a female organism that produces eggs. ... The endocrine system is an integrated system of small organs that involve the release of extracellular signaling molecules known as hormones. ... For other uses, see Hormone (disambiguation). ...


The process of the ovaries shutting down is a phenomenon which involves the entire cascade of a woman's reproductive functioning, from brain to skin, and this major physiological event usually has some effect on almost every aspect of a woman's body and life.

Contents

Overview

Menopause starts as the ovaries begin to fail to be able to produce an egg or ovum every month. Since the process of producing and ripening the egg is also what creates several of the key hormones involved in the monthly cycle, this in turn interrupts the regular pattern of the hormone cycles, and gradually leads to the somewhat chaotic and long-drawn out shutting down of the whole reproductive system. // For ovary as part of plants see ovary (plants) An ovary is an egg-producing reproductive organ found in female organisms. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ...


The break-up in the pattern of the menstrual cycles not only causes the levels of most of the reproductive hormones to drop over time, but also causes the reproductive hormones to fall out of phase with one another, which often leads to extreme and unpredictable fluctuations in the levels, which itself can cause numerous symptoms in most women, such as hot flashes.


After a number of years of erratic functioning, the ovaries almost completely stop producing the estrogen hormones, and progesterone. Decrease in testosterone levels begins gradually in young adulthood, but does not accelerate during menopause because the stroma of the postmenopausal ovary and adrenal gland continue to secrete substantial amounts. Due to these hormonal changes, the reproductive system ceases to function. Kitty Davis (talk) 20:19, 17 April 2008 (UTC) Estriol. ... Progesterone is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis of humans and other species. ... Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. ... A pictorial illustration of the human female reproductive system. ...


Age of onset

The average age of menopause is 51 years. The normal age range is 45 to 55.


Last period ever occurring between the ages of 55 to 60 is known as a "late menopause". An "early menopause" is defined as last period ever between the age of 40 to 45.


When the ovaries stop working at a very early age, anywhere from the age of puberty to age 40, this is known as premature ovarian failure (POF), also commonly referred to as "premature menopause" or "early menopause." 1% of women experience POF, and this is not considered to be due to the normal effects of aging. Some known causes of premature menopause include autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, however, in the majority of spontaneous cases, the cause is unknown. Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) is the cessation of menstrual periods and ovulation in women under the age of 40. ... Autoimmune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. ... For the disease characterized by excretion of large amounts of very dilute urine, see diabetes insipidus. ... Chemotherapy, in its most general sense, refers to treatment of disease by chemicals that kill cells, specifically those of micro-organisms or cancer. ... Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). ...


Premature menopause is diagnosed or confirmed by measuring the levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH); the levels of these hormones will be abnormally high if menopause has occurred. Rates of premature menopause have been found to be significantly higher in fraternal and identical twins; approximately 5% of twins reach menopause before the age of 40. The reasons for this are not completely understood. Transplants of ovarian tissue between identical twins have been successful in restoring fertility. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone produced by gonadotropes in the anterior pituitary gland. ... Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone synthesized and secreted by gonadotropes in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. ... Fraternal twin boys in the tub The term twin most notably refers to two individuals (or one of two individuals) who have shared the same uterus (womb) and usually, but not necessarily, born on the same day. ...


Menopause in other species

Menopause in the animal kingdom appears perhaps to be somewhat rare, although this has not been thoroughly researched. However, it is already quite apparent that humans are not the only species that experience it.


Menopause has been observed in rhesus monkeys[1], some cetaceans[2], as well as in a variety of other species of vertebrates including the guppy, the platyfish, budgerigars or “parakeets”, laboratory rats and mice, the opossum, and all manner of primates[3] Binomial name Macaca mulatta Zimmermann, 1780 The Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), often called the Rhesus Monkey, is one of the best known species of Old World monkeys. ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... For other uses, see Guppy (disambiguation). ... Species See text. ... For the runtime engine for Perl 6, see Parrot virtual machine. ... This is an article about wild rats; for pet rats, see Fancy rat Species 50 species; see text *Several subfamilies of Muroids include animals called rats. ... Mice may refer to: An abbreviation of Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions. ... Genera Several; see text Opossum fur is quite soft. ... For the ecclesiastical use of this term, see primate (religion) Families 13, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all lemurs, monkeys, and apes, including humans. ...


Menopause in human evolution

The Grandmother hypothesis suggests that menopause evolved in humans because it promotes the survival of grandchildren. According to the grandmother hypothesis, post reproductive women feed and care for children, adult nursing daughters, and grandchildren whose mothers have weaned them. Human babies require large and steady supplies of glucose to feed the growing brain. In infants in the first year of life, the brain consumes 60% of all calories, so both babies and their mothers require a dependable food supply. Some evidence suggests that hunters contribute less than half the total food budget of most hunter-gatherer societies, and often much less than half, so that foraging grandmothers can contribute substantially to the survival of grandchildren at times when mothers and fathers are unable to gather enough food for all the children. In general, selection operates most powerfully during times of famine or other privation. So although grandmothers might not be necessary during good times, many grandchildren cannot survive without them during times of famine. The grandmother hypothesis is meant to explain why menopause, rare in mammal species, arose in human evolution, and how late life infertility could actually confer an evolutionary advantage. ...


Terminology, definitions and commentary

Menopause

Clinically speaking, menopause is a date: for those women who still have a uterus, menopause is defined as the day after a woman's final period finishes.


In common everyday parlance however, the word "menopause" is usually not used to refer to one day, but to the whole of the menopause transition years. This span of time is also referred to as the change of life or the climacteric and more recently is known as "perimenopause", (literally meaning "around menopause").


Perimenopause

Perimenopause means the menopause transition years, the years both before and after the last period ever, when the majority of women find that they undergo at least some symptoms of hormonal change and fluctuation, such as hot flashes, mood changes, insomnia, fatigue, memory problems, etc.


During perimenopause, the production of most of the reproductive hormones, including the estrogens, progesterone and testosterone, diminishes and becomes more irregular, often with wide and unpredictable fluctuations in levels. During this period, fertility diminishes. Estriol. ... Progesterone is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis of humans and other species. ... Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. ...


Symptoms of perimenopause can begin as early as age 35, although most women become aware of them about 10 years later than this. Perimenopause can last for a few years, or for ten years or even longer. In this respect it resembles puberty, a similar process which surrounds menarche. In fact menopause can usefully be compared to "puberty in reverse", and the psychological challenges and adjustments which take place over this time span can be compared to adolescence. Puberty refers to the process of physical changes by which a childs body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. ... Teen redirects here. ...


The actual duration and severity of perimenopause in any individual woman cannot be predicted in advance or during the process. Not every woman experiences symptoms during perimenopause. Approximately one third of all women get no noticeable symptoms other than that their periods become erratic and then stop. Another one third of women have moderate symptoms. The remaining one third of women have very strong symptoms which tend to have a longer duration. The tendency to have a very strong perimenopause may be inherited in some cases.


One piece of recent research appears to show that melatonin supplementation in perimenopausal women can produce a highly significant improvement in thyroid function and gonadotropin levels, as well as restoring fertility and menstruation and preventing the depression associated with the menopause[4]. Melatonin, 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine, is a hormone found in all living creatures from algae[1] to humans, at levels that vary in a diurnal cycle. ...


Premenopause

Premenopause is a word used to describe the years leading up to the last period ever, when the levels of reproductive hormones are already becoming lower and more erratic, and symptoms of hormone withdrawal may be present.


Postmenopause

Postmenopause is all of the time in a woman's life that take place after her last period ever, or more accurately, all of the time that follows the point when her ovaries become inactive.


A woman who still has her uterus can be declared to be in post-menopause once she has gone 12 full months with no flow at all, not even any spotting. When she reaches that point, she is one year into post-menopause. The reason for this delay in declaring a woman post-menopausal is because periods become very erratic at this time of life, and therefore a reasonably long stretch of time is necessary to be sure that the cycling has actually ceased.


In women who have no uterus, and therefore have no periods, post-menopause can be determined by a blood test which can reveal the very high levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) that are typical of post-menopausal women. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone produced by gonadotropes in the anterior pituitary gland. ...


A woman's reproductive hormone levels continue to drop and fluctuate for some time into post-menopause, so any hormone withdrawal symptoms that a woman may be experiencing do not necessarily stop right away, but may take quite some time, even several years, to disappear completely.


Any period-like flow that might occur during post-menopause, even just spotting, must be reported to a doctor. The cause may be minor, but the possibility of endometrial cancer must be checked for and eliminated.


The causes of menopause

The causes of menopause can be considered from complementary proximate (mechanistic) and ultimate (adaptive evolutionary) perspectives.


From a proximate perspective: A natural or physiological menopause is that which occurs as a part of a woman's normal aging process. It is the result of the eventual atresia of almost all oocytes in the ovaries. This causes an increase in circulating follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels as there are a decreased number of oocytes responding to these hormones and producing estrogen. This decrease in the production of estrogen leads to the perimenopausal symptoms of hot flashes, insomnia and mood changes, as well as post-menopausal osteoporosis and vaginal atrophy. Atresia is a condition in which a body orifice or passage in the body is abnormally closed or absent. ... Follicle stimulating hormone Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone synthesised and secreted by gonadotropes in the anterior pituitary gland. ... Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone synthesized and secreted by gonadotropes in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. ... An oocyte or ovocyte is a female gametocyte or germ cell involved in reproduction. ... Osteoporosis is a disease of bone - leading to an increased risk of fracture. ...


However, menopause can be surgically induced by bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries and both fallopian tubes), which is often, but not always, done in conjunction with hysterectomy. Cessation of menses as a result of removal of the ovaries is called "surgical menopause". The sudden and complete drop in reproductive hormone levels usually produces extreme hormone-withdrawal symptoms such as hot flashes, etc. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


As mentioned above, removal of the uterus, hysterectomy, does not itself cause menopause, although pelvic surgery can sometimes precipitate a somewhat earlier menopause, perhaps because of a compromised blood supply to the ovaries. Removing the ovaries however, causes an immediate and powerful "surgical menopause", even if the uterus is left intact.


Cigarette smoking has been found to decrease the age at menopause by as much as one year, and women who have undergone hysterectomy with ovary conservation go through menopause 3.7 years earlier than average. However, premature menopause (before the age of 40) is generally idiopathic. Idiopathic means arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause. ...


An ultimate perspective on menopause is given above in the "Menopause in human evolution" section.


Symptoms of perimenopause, the menopause transition time

As the body struggles to adapt to the rapidly changing levels of natural hormones, a number of symptoms appear. Both users and non-users of hormone replacement therapy identify lack of energy as the most frequent and distressing symptom.[5] For other uses, see Hormone (disambiguation). ...


Other symptoms include vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and palpitations, psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and lack of concentration, and atrophic symptoms such as vaginal dryness and urgency of urination. Together with these symptoms, the average woman also has increasingly erratic menstrual periods. Vasodilation is where blood vessels in the body become wider following the relaxation of the smooth muscle in the vessel wall. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... On the Threshold of Eternity. ... This article is about state anxiety. ... A mood swing is an extreme or rapid change in mood. ...


These perimenopause symptoms are caused by an overall drop, as well as dramatic but erratic fluctuations, in the levels of estrogens, progestin, and testosterone. Some of these symptoms, such as formication, may be associated directly with hormone withdrawal. Withdrawal, also known as withdrawal syndrome, refers to the characteristic signs and symptoms that appear when a drug that causes physical dependence is regularly used for a long time and then suddenly discontinued or decreased in dosage. ...


Vasomotor instability

Urogenital atrophy, also known as vaginal atrophy, (main article: Atrophic vaginitis) This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Sleep hyperhidrosis, more commonly known as the night sweats, is the occurrence of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) during sleep. ... A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a disorder in the sleep patterns of a person or animal. ... Atrophic vaginitis (also known as vaginal atrophy) is an inflammation of the vagina due to thinning and shrinking tissues and decreased lubrication of the vaginal walls. ...

Skeletal For other uses, see Itch (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Bleeding (disambiguation). ... Polyuria is the passage of a large volume of urine in a given period. ... Urinary urgency is a sudden, compelling urge to urinate. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ...

Skin, soft tissue Osteopenia is a decrease in bone mineral density that can be a precursor condition to osteoporosis. ... Osteoporosis is a disease of bone - leading to an increased risk of fracture. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Myalgia means muscle pain and is a symptom of many diseases and disorders. ... Back pain (also known dorsalgia) is pain felt in the back that may originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. ...

  • breast atrophy
  • skin thinning
  • decreased elasticity of the skin
  • formication, a sensation of pins and needles, or ants crawling on or under the skin

Psychological Formication is a tactile hallucination that insects or snakes are crawling over or under the skin. ...

Sexual A mood disorder is a condition whereby the prevailing emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances. ... Irritability is an excessive response to stimuli. ... Exhaustion redirects here. ... Memory loss can be caused by many things. ... For other uses, see Depression. ... This article is about state anxiety. ...

One cohort study found that menopause was associated with hot flashes; joint pain and muscle pain; and depressed mood.[6] In the same study, it appeared that menopause was not associated with poor sleep, decreased libido, and vaginal dryness.[6] For other uses, see Libido (disambiguation). ... Vaginal lubrication is the naturally produced lubricating fluid that reduces friction during sexual intercourse. ... Dyspareunia is painful sexual intercourse, due to medical or psychological causes. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Cohort (statistics). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In medicine, arthralgia (literally: joint pain, from arthros = joint and -algia denoting pain) is the presence of painful joints in the absence of frank arthritis. ... Myalgia means muscle pain and is a symptom of many diseases and disorders. ... For other uses, see Depression. ... Libido in its common usage means sexual desire; however, more technical definitions, such as those found in the work of Carl Jung, are more general, referring to libido as the free creative—or psychic—energy an individual has to put toward personal development, or individuation. ... Vaginal lubrication is the naturally produced lubricating fluid that reduces friction during sexual intercourse. ...


Treatment of symptoms

Perimenopause is a natural stage of life, but when the symptoms are severe, they may be alleviated through medical treatments. Hormone replacement therapy (US abbr.) (HT is the preferred British abbr.) and SSRIs provide the best relief, but equine estrogens and synthetic progestin forms of HRT appear to increase health risks, especially in women who start this treatment after menopause. United States may refer to: Places: United States of America SS United States, the fastest ocean liner ever built. ... The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the G8, the European Union, and NATO. Usually known simply as the United Kingdom, the UK, or (inaccurately) as Great Britain or Britain, the UK has four constituent... Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants for treating depression, anxiety disorders and some personality disorders. ...


A six month placebo-controlled Italian clinical trial of nocturnal administration of three mg. of synthetic melatonin found a remarkable and highly significant improvement in perimenopausal and menopausal women of thyroid function, positive changes of gonadotropins towards more juvenile levels, and abrogation of menopause-related depression in women receiving melatonin versus a placebo.[7]


Some other drugs afford limited relief from hot flashes. A woman and her doctor should carefully review her symptoms and relative risk before determining whether the benefits of HT/HRT or other therapies outweigh the risks. Until more becomes understood about the possible risk, women who elect to use hormone replacement therapy are generally well advised to take the lowest effective dose of hormones for the shortest period possible, and to question their doctors as to whether certain forms might pose fewer dangers of clots or cancer than others.


Hormone therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy

See also Hormone replacement therapy (menopause).

In addition to relief from hot flashes, hormone therapy remains an effective treatment for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease of bone - leading to an increased risk of fracture. ...


In HT or HRT, one or more estrogens, usually in combination with progesterone, (and sometimes testosterone) are administered, not only to partially compensate for the body's loss of these hormones, but also in an attempt to keep the levels of these hormones in the body much more consistent than they are naturally in perimenopause.


In those women who have no uterus (usually due to a previous hysterectomy) estrogen alone is a suitable hormone therapy. Women who still have a uterus need to take progesterone in addition to estrogen, in order to ensure that the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, does not build up too much, which would be a risk for cancer of the endometrium. The endometrium is the inner membrane of the mammalian uterus. ...


There are several types of hormone therapies, with various possible side effects.


Conjugated equine estrogens

See also Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Conjugated equine estrogens contain estrogen molecules conjugated to hydrophilic side groups (e.g. sulfate) and are produced from the urine of pregnant Equidae (horses) mares. Premarin is the prime example of this, either alone or in Prempro, where it is combined with a synthetic progestin, medroxyprogesterone acetate. However Premarin, and especially Prempro, are associated with serious health risks.[8] The adjective hydrophilic describes something that likes water (from Greek hydros = water; philos = friend). ...


In January 2003, the FDA required Wyeth to affix a "black box" warning to PremPro, stating

"WARNING

Estrogens and progestins should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) reported increased risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary emboli, and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women during 5 years of treatment with conjugated equine estrogens (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (2.5 mg) relative to placebo (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies). Other doses of conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations of estrogens and progestins were not studied in the WHI ... "

Adverse effects of conjugated equine estrogens

See also Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Women had been advised for many years by numerous doctors and drug company marketing efforts (at least in the USA) that hormone therapy with conjugated equine estrogens after menopause might reduce their risk of heart disease and prevent various aspects of aging. However, a large, randomized, controlled trial (the Women's Health Initiative) found that women undergoing HT or HRT with conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), whether or not used in combination with a synthetic progestin (Premarin plus Provera, known as Prempro), had an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. Although this increase in risk was small, but it passed the thresholds that had been established by the researchers in advance as sufficient to ethically require stopping the study. Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases which affect the heart and as of 2007 it is the leading cause of death in the United States,[1] and England and Wales. ... The Womens Health Initiative (WHI) was initiated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991. ... Premarin is a mixture of estrogens isolated from mares urine (PREgnant MARes urINe) made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. ... This article is about the contraceptive injection. ... Breast cancer is cancer of breast tissue. ... Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases which affect the heart and as of 2007 it is the leading cause of death in the United States,[1] and England and Wales. ... A stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly interrupted by occlusion (an ischemic stroke- approximately 90% of strokes), by hemorrhage (a hemorrhagic stroke - less than 10% of strokes) or other causes. ...


When these results were reported in 2002, the popular media recognized it as a significant news story, while the manufacturer continued to minimize the degree of risk involved.


If anything, the news stories had understated the degree of risk. Many women discontinued equine estrogens altogether, with or without their doctor's approval. The number of prescriptions written for Premarin and PremPro in the United States dropped within a year almost to half of their previous level. This sharp drop in prescriptions for Premarin and Prempro was followed by large and successively larger drops in new breast cancer diagnoses, at six months, one year, and 18 months after the drop in Premarin and Prempro prescriptions, for a cumulative 15% drop by the end of 2003. Prescriptions of Prempro and Premarin fell dramatically in Canada as well, but no similarly dramatic drop in Canada's breast cancer rates was observed during the same time period. Studies designed to track the further progression of this trend after 2003 are under way, as well as studies designed to quantify how much of the drop was related to the reduced use of HT/HRT.


Other forms of hormone therapy

See also Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

The adverse biological effects of xenoestrogens and progestins revealed by studies of Premarin and PremPro do not necessarily generalize to supplementation with human forms of estrogen and progesterone. For example, a pilot study reported in JAMA by Smith, Heckbert, et al.[9] found clinical evidence that oral conjugated equine estrogens caused clotting, but the other estrogen compound tested in the same study, bioidentical esterified estrogens, does not. conjugated equine estrogens were found to be associated with increased venous thrombotic risk. In sharp contrast, the study found that users of esterified estrogen had no increase in venous thrombotic risk.


Due to the controversy about Premarin-based hormone therapy, a number of doctors are now moving patients who request hormone therapy to help them through perimenopause, to bioidentical hormone products.


Estrace is a form of the precursor to estrogen in the human body known as estradiol, which products have produced fewer side effects than conjugated equine estrogens[10]. Prometrium is a bioidentical progesterone which can be used in conjunction with Estrace. Estradiol is a naturally occurring byproduct of cholesterol metabolism (by way of testosterone) and is vital to the maintenance of fertility and secondary sex characteristics in females. ... Estradiol (17β-estradiol) (also oestradiol) is a sex hormone. ... Prometrium is a brand of micronized progesterone. ...


However, all hormone replacement therapies probably do carry some health risks, including high blood pressure, blood clots, and increased risks of breast and uterine cancers. Women who have had a hysterectomy seem to tolerate estrogen-only therapy better than mixed-hormone therapy. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


The anti-seizure medication gabapentin (Neurontin) seems to be second only to HRT in relieving hot flashes.[citation needed] Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is a medication originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy. ...


Antidepressants

Antidepressants such as paroxetine (Paxil), Fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac), and Venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor) have been used with some success in the treatment of hot flashes, improving sleep, mood, and quality of life. Of these, Paxil has been the most studied and may provide the most consistent relief[citation needed]. There is a theoretical reason why SSRI antidepressants might help with memory problems-- they increase circulating levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain and restore hippocampal function. Prozac has been repackaged as Sarafem and is approved and prescribed for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a mood disorder often exacerbated during perimenopause and early menopause. PMDD has been found by PET scans to be accompanied by a sharp drop in serotonin in the brain and to respond quickly and powerfully to SSRIs. Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat, Pexeva) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. ... Background Fluoxetine hydrochloride (brand names include Prozac®, Symbyax® (compounded with olanzapine), Sarafem®, Fontex® (Sweden), Fluctine (Austria, Germany), Prodep (India), Fludac (India)) is an antidepressant drug used medically in the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and many other disorders. ... Background Fluoxetine hydrochloride (brand names include Prozac®, Symbyax® (compounded with olanzapine), Sarafem®, Fontex® (Sweden), Fluctine (Austria, Germany), Prodep (India), Fludac (India)) is an antidepressant drug used medically in the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and many other disorders. ... Venlafaxine hydrochloride is a prescription antidepressant first introduced by Wyeth in 1993. ... Venlafaxine hydrochloride is a prescription antidepressant first introduced by Wyeth in 1993, and marketed under the tradename Effexor®. It is used primarily for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder in adults. ... SSRI is an acronym that stands for several things: It is a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor SSRI also is used as the stock symbol for Silver Standard Resources Inc. ... For the professional wrestling stable, see Ravens Nest#Serotonin. ... Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome, afflicting 8% of all women. ... Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants for treating depression, anxiety disorders and some personality disorders. ...


Blood pressure medicines

About as effective as antidepressants for hot flashes, but without the other mind and mood benefits of antidepressants, are blood pressure medicines including clonidine (Catapres). These drugs may merit special consideration by women suffering both from high blood pressure and hot flashes. Clonidine is a direct-acting adrenergic agonist prescribed historically as an anti-hypertensive agent. ...


Complementary and alternative therapies

Medical non-hormone treatments provide less than complete relief, and each has side effects.


In the area of complementary and alternative therapies, acupuncture treatment is promising. There are some studies indicating positive effects, especially on hot flashes [11][12][13] but also others [14] showing no positive effects of acupuncture regarding menopause. Acupuncture chart from Hua Shou (fl. ...


There are claims that soy isoflavones are beneficial concerning menopause. However, one study [15] indicated that soy isoflavones did not improve or appreciably affect cognitive functioning in postmenopausal women.


Other remedies that have proven no better than a placebo at treating hot flashes and other menopause symptoms include red clover isoflavone extracts and black cohosh. Black cohosh has potentially serious side-effects such as the stimulation of pre-existing breast cancer, therefore prolonged administration is not recommended in any case. Binomial name Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. ...


Other therapies

Individual counseling or support groups may be helpful to handle sad, depressed, or confusing feelings women may be having as they pass through what can be a very challenging transition time.


Vaginal moisturizers such as Replens can help women with thinning vaginal tissue or dryness, and lubricants such as K-Y Jelly or Astroglide, can help with lubrication difficulties that may be present during intercourse. It is worth pointing out that moisturizers and lubricants are different products for different issues: some women feel unpleasantly dry all of the time apart from during sex, and they may do better with moisturizers all of the time. Those who need only lubricants are fine just using the lubrication products during intercourse.


Low-dose prescription vaginal estrogen products such as Estrace cream or the Estring are generally a safe way to use estrogen topically, in order to help vaginal thinning and dryness problems (see vaginal atrophy) while only minimally increasing the levels of estrogen in the bloodstream.


In terms of managing hot flashes, lifestyle measures, such as drinking cold liquids, staying in cool rooms, using fans, removing excess clothing layers when a hot flash strikes, and avoiding hot flash triggers such as hot drinks, spicy foods, etc, may partially supplement (or even obviate) the use of medications for some women.


See also

Menopause (also known as the Change of life or climacteric) is a stage of the human female reproductive cycle that occurs as the ovaries stop producing estrogen, causing the reproductive system to gradually shut down. ... Not to be confused with Mensuration. ... Menstrual cycle In the female reproductive system, the menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiologic changes that occurs in reproductive age females of several mammals, including human beings and other apes. ... Menarche (IPA: ) is the first menstrual period, or first menstrual bleeding in the females of human beings. ... Estriol. ... Progesterone is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis of humans and other species. ... Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. ... Follicle stimulating hormone Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone synthesised and secreted by gonadotropes in the anterior pituitary gland. ... Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a system of medical treatment for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, based on the assumption that it may prevent discomfort and health problems caused by diminished circulating estrogen hormones. ... Atrophic vaginitis (also known as vaginal atrophy) is an inflammation of the vagina due to thinning and shrinking tissues and decreased lubrication of the vaginal walls. ... Louann Brizendine M.D., is a neuropsychiatrist and the author of The Female Brain published by Morgan Road Books in 2006. ... Menopause The Musical debuted March 28, 2001 in a small theatre in Orlando, Florida. ... Andropause is a medical phenomenon, similar to the female menopause, that can affect men between the ages of 40 and 55. ...

References

  1. ^ Walker ML (1995). "Menopause in female rhesus monkeys". Am J Primatol 35: 59-71. 
  2. ^ McAuliffe K, Whitehead H (2005). "Eusociality, menopause and information in matrilineal whales". Trends Ecol Evolution 20: 650. 
  3. ^ [1] David Reznick1, Michael Bryant, Donna Holmes. University of California Riverside, United States. [email protected]
  4. ^ Bellipanni G, DI Marzo F, Blasi F, et al. Effects of melatonin in perimenopausal and menopausal women: our personal experience. 2005. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1057:393-402. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1356.030 PMID 16399909
  5. ^ Twiss JJ, Wegner J, Hunter M, Kelsay M, Rathe-Hart M, Salado W (2007). "Perimenopausal symptoms, quality of life, and health behaviors in users and nonusers of hormone therapy". J Am Acad Nurse Pract 19 (11): 602-13. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7599.2007.00260.x. PMID 17970860. 
  6. ^ a b Freeman EW, Sammel MD, Lin H, et al (2007). "Symptoms associated with menopausal transition and reproductive hormones in midlife women". Obstetrics and gynecology 110 (2 Pt 1): 230-40. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000270153.59102.40. PMID 17666595. 
  7. ^ Bellipanni G, DI Marzo F, Blasi F, Di Marzo A (2005). "Effects of melatonin in perimenopausal and menopausal women: our personal experience". Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1057: 393-402. doi:10.1196/annals.1356.030. PMID 16399909. 
  8. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormone_replacement_therapy_(menopause)#Types_of_Hormone_Replacement_Therapy Types
  9. ^ Smith NL, Heckbert SR, Lemaitre RN, et al (2004). "Esterified estrogens and conjugated equine estrogens and the risk of venous thrombosis". JAMA 292 (13): 1581-7. doi:10.1001/jama.292.13.1581. PMID 15467060. 
  10. ^ "Bioidentical Hormones Come Of Age", Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner; published March 24, 2004; updated June 7, 2007; retrieved June 13, 2007.
  11. ^ [2] Nir Y, Huang MI, Schnyer R, Chen B, Manber R. Stanford University School of Medicine, United States. [email protected]
  12. ^ [3] Cohen SM, Rousseau ME, Carey BL. University of Pittsburgh, 440 Victoria Bldg, 3500 Victoria St, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. [email protected]
  13. ^ [4] Zaborowska E, Brynhildsen J, Damberg S, Fredriksson M, Lindh-Astrand L, Nedstrand E, Wyon Y, Hammar M. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.
  14. ^ [5] Vincent A, Barton DL, Mandrekar JN, Cha SS, Zais T, Wahner-Roedler DL, Keppler MA, Kreitzer MJ, Loprinzi C. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
  15. ^ [6] Fournier LR, Ryan Borchers TA, Robison LM, Wiediger M, Park JS, Chew BP, McGuire MK, Sclar DA, Skaer TL, Beerman KA. Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4820, USA. [email protected]

A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... is the 83rd day of the year (84th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 158th day of the year (159th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 164th day of the year (165th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Established in 1997 by The Endocrine Society as its public education affiliate, The Hormone Foundation serves as a resource for physicians, patients, and the public by promoting the prevention, treatment and cure of hormone-related conditions through outreach and education. ... The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from , its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. ... Human Physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans in good health, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. ... Endocrinology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the endocrine system and its specific secretions called hormones. ... Sexual reproduction is a union that results in increasing genetic diversity of the offspring. ... A pictorial illustration of the human female reproductive system. ... The male reproductive system is a series of organs located outside of the body and around the pelvic region of a male. ... The human females reproductive system. ... Menstrual cycle In the female reproductive system, the menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiologic changes that occurs in reproductive age females of several mammals, including human beings and other apes. ... The estrous cycle (also oestrous cycle; originally derived from Latin oestrus) comprises the recurring physiologic changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in most mammalian placental females. ... Not to be confused with Mensuration. ... Menstrual cycle The follicular phase (or proliferative phase) is the phase of the estrous cycle, (or, in humans and great apes, the menstrual cycle) during which follicles in the ovary mature. ... Ovulation is the process in the menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg) that participates in reproduction. ... The luteal phase is the latter phase of the estrous cycle in animals. ... Gametogenesis is the creation of gametes by meiotic division of gametocytes into various gametes. ... Cross section of the epithelium of a seminiferous tubule showing various stages of spermatocyte development Spermatogenesis is the process by which male spermatogonia develop into mature spermatozoa. ... A Spermatogonium (plural: spermatogonia) is an intermediary male gametogonium (a kind of germ cell) in the production of spermatozoa. ... Spermatogenesis refers to the creation, or genesis, of sperm cells, which occurs in the male gonads or testes. ... The term spermatid refers to the haploid male germ cell that results from secondary spermatocyte division. ... For other uses, see Sperm (disambiguation). ... Oogenesis or rarely oögenesis is the creation of an ovum (egg cell). ... An oogonium is a female gametogonium. ... An oocyte or ovocyte is a female gametocyte or germ cell involved in reproduction. ... An ootid is a female gametid, as opposed to a male spermatid. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ... A germ cell is part of the germline and is involved in the reproduction of organisms. ... A gamete (from Ancient Greek γαμετης; translated gamete = wife, gametes = husband) is a cell that fuses with another gamete during fertilization (conception) in organisms that reproduce sexually. ... This article is about sexual practices (i. ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... This article is about human physiological erection. ... Ejaculation is the ejecting of semen from the penis, and is usually accompanied by orgasm. ... An orgasm (sexual climax) is the conclusion of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, and may be experienced by both males and females. ... Insemination is the introduction of semen into the genital tract of a female. ... This article is about fertilisation in animals and plants. ... Fertility is the natural capability of giving life. ... Masturbation is the manual excitation of the sexual organs, most often to the point of orgasm. ... This article is about human pregnancy in biological females. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about prenatal development in humans. ... Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size, between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ... This article is about the development of sexual dimorphisms in humans. ... Puberty refers to the process of physical changes by which a childs body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. ... Menarche (IPA: ) is the first menstrual period, or first menstrual bleeding in the females of human beings. ... Adrenarche refers to a stage of maturation of the cortex of the human adrenal glands. ... Graph showing increased risk of Down Syndrome over time The maternal age effect describes the exponentially increasing risks of chromosomal abnormalities as a prospective mother ages. ... The paternal age effect describes the influence that a fathers age has on the chances of conferring a genetic defect to his offspring. ... Andropause is a medical phenomenon, similar to the female menopause, that can affect men between the ages of 40 and 55. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ... Oviparous animals are animals that lay eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. ... Ovoviviparous animals develop within eggs that remain within the mothers body up until they hatch or are about to hatch. ... Poa alpina, a grass which shows vivipary: the seeds germinate while still attached to the mother plant. ... Reproductive endocrinology (RE) is a medical subspecialty that addresses hormonal functioning as it pertains to reproduction. ... The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (also HPTA) is a way of referring to the combined effects of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and gonads as if these individual endocrine glands were a single entity. ... Andrology (from the Greek andros, man) is the medical specialty that deals with male health, particularly relating to the problems of the male reproductive system and urological problems that are unique to men. ... For other uses, see Hormone (disambiguation). ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
BBC - Health - Conditions - Menopause (295 words)
The menopause is the time of a woman's last period and is sometimes called the 'change of life'.
When it happens before the age of 40, it is called premature menopause.
At the menopause the ovaries stop producing eggs and the female hormone oestrogen.
What is menopause - WebMD (802 words)
The term “menopause” is commonly used to describe any of the changes a woman experiences either just before or after she stops menstruating, marking the end of her reproductive period.
Menopause, when it occurs after the age of 40, is considered "natural" and is a normal part of aging.
Menopause that occurs before the age of 40, regardless of the cause, is called premature menopause.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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