Menopause

From Wikipedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Template:Infobox medical condition

Menopause, also known as the climacteric, is the time in most women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to have children.[1][2] Menopause typically occurs between 45 and 55 years of age.[1] Medical professionals often define menopause as having occurred when a woman has not had any vaginal bleeding for a year.[3] It may also be defined by a decrease in hormone production by the ovaries.[4] In those who have had surgery to remove their uterus but they still have ovaries, menopause may be viewed to have occurred at the time of the surgery or when their hormone levels fell.[4] Following the removal of the uterus, symptoms typically occur earlier, at an average of 45 years of age.[5]

Before menopause, a woman's periods typically become irregular, which means that periods may be longer or shorter in duration, or be lighter or heavier in terms of the amount of flow. During this time, women often experience hot flashes; these typically last from 30 seconds to ten minutes, and may be associated with shivering, sweating and reddening of the skin.[6] Hot flashes often stop occurring after a year or two.[2] Other symptoms may include vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and mood changes.[6] The severity of symptoms varies between women.[2] While menopause is often thought to be linked to an increase in heart disease, this primarily occurs due to increasing age and does not have a direct relationship with menopause. In some women, problems that were previously present like endometriosis or painful periods will improve after menopause.[2]

Menopause is usually a natural change.[7] It can occur earlier in those who smoke tobacco.[3][8] Other causes include surgery that removes both ovaries, or some types of chemotherapy.[3] At the physiological level, menopause happens because of a decrease in the ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.[1] While typically not needed, a diagnosis of menopause can be confirmed by measuring hormone levels in either the blood or urine.[9] Menopause is the opposite of menarche, the time at which a girl's periods start.[10]

Specific treatment is not usually needed. Some symptoms, however, may be improved with treatment. With respect to hot flashes, avoiding smoking, caffeine, and alcohol is often recommended. Sleeping in a cool room and using a fan may also help.[11] The following medications may help: menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), clonidine, gabapentin, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.[11][12] Exercise may help with sleeping problems. While MHT was once routinely prescribed, it is now only recommended in those with significant symptoms, as there are concerns about side effects.[11] High-quality evidence for the effectiveness of alternative medicine has not been found.[2]

  1. ^ a b c "Menopause: Overview". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Menopause: Overview". PubMedHealth. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "What is menopause?". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b Sievert, Lynnette Leidy (2006). Menopause : a biocultural perspective ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. p. 81. ISBN 9780813538563.
  5. ^ International position paper on women's health and menopause : a comprehensive approach. DIANE Publishing. 2002. p. 36. ISBN 9781428905214.
  6. ^ a b "What are the symptoms of menopause?". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  7. ^ "What causes menopause?". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  8. ^ Warren, volume editors, Claudio N. Soares, Michelle (2009). The menopausal transition : interface between gynecology and psychiatry ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Basel: Karger. p. 73. ISBN 978-3805591010.
  9. ^ "How do health care providers diagnose menopause?". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  10. ^ Wood, James. "9". Dynamics of Human Reproduction: Biology, Biometry, Demography. Transaction Publishers. p. 401. ISBN 9780202365701.
  11. ^ a b c "What are the treatments for other symptoms of menopause?". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  12. ^ Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 44: attempt to index a nil value.