As most ladies would have realized, the menstrual journey is not usually a smooth one; there are periods of irregular menses in the early stages, period of “hold ups” either due to pregnancy, medical issues etc; periods of apprehension and bumpiness in the journey sometimes represented by infertility when the woman prays the next menses should not come just as converse is true for those who felt disappointed with “missing period”.
Anyhow the journey goes, it has a definite starting point – the menarche, which is the medical terminology for the first menses, and a definite terminal point when menses ceases to flow altogether – the menopause. which actually refers to the last menstrual “flow”
The menopause is the the last menstrual period of a woman. However, beyond the cessation of menses, menopause is generally viewed as the time of life leading up to, and after, the last menstrual period.. Thus to some, it is referred to as the change of life.
Physiologically speaking, menopause is better understood and defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation due to loss of ovarian follicular activity, which basically means that the woman has lost the ability to form and release egg in her body permanently. Menopause is said to have occurred after 12 months spontaneous cessation of the menses and the average age for menopause is 51 years.
THE PERI-MENOPAUSAL PERIOD
This is the period of time over which the ovaries are failing i.e. they are no more producing eggs in the woman as is normally the case every month, and when the symptoms of menopause start, it finishes 12months after the last menstrual period.
This is the time after permanent cessation of menstruation i.e. after 12 months of spontaneous cessation of menses. 80% of women are postmenopausal by the 54th year of their life.
This is said to occur , when menopause takes place before the age of 40, it can occur as a result of ovarian failure spontaneously or induced by radiotherapy, the use of anti-cancer medications (Chemotherapy) or after the surgical removal of the womb (hysterectomy) with ovarian conservation.
Hot flushes: This occurs in about 3 in 4 women who have passed menopause. A typical hot flush lasts a few minutes and causes hot flushing of the woman’s neck, face and chest. She may also sweat during a hot flush, some become weak,faint or feel sick during a hot flush. The number of hot flushes can vary every now and then, to fifteen or more times a day. It typically persists for 2 - 3 years.
Sweat: It commonly occurs when the woman is in bed at night. In some cases they are so severe that sleep is disturbed and she needs to cj=change the bedding and the night clothes.
LONG TERM SYMPTOMS
Dry skin on the back of the hands
Loss of memory
Menopause is inevitable. Anyhow it goes, it is important to note here that menopause is a reality for all women, it is a must , and it will come when it is time. Menopause does not however occur at the same time in all women even in identical twins. When it comes, confront yours with stride.
culled from Thisday Newspaper