refers to the cessation of menstruation in women. It occurs
when the ovaries
stop functioning. Natural menopause usually occurs between
age 45 and 55. Menopause also occurs in women who have had
their ovaries surgically removed and can occur as a result
of damage to the pituitary gland, which helps regulate the
function of the ovaries.
Some women pass into menopause with no noticeable
symptoms, while other women experience severe and debilitating
symptoms including nervousness, hot flashes (flushes) and
chills, fatigue, apathy, depresion, insomnia and dizziness.
There is no evidence that sexual desire and activity necessarily
decrease in post-menopausal women.
The ovaries are the female body's producer
of estrogen; when
the ovaries stop functioning in menopause, estrogen levels
plummet. This can have long-range effects including osteoporosis
In order to treat the symptoms of menopause,
many women receive hormone
replacement therapy (HRT), which usually involves taking
estrogen combined with progestin. (Taking estrogen alone causes
an unacceptably high risk of uterine cancer.) HRT may reduce
the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, but may increase
the risk of breast cancer and liver disease. For these reasons,
decisions about whether or not to begin or continue HRT must
be made on an individual basis by a woman and her doctor.
Article : "ESTROGEN
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain