Menopause is the term to describe the permanent cessation of the primary function for the human ovaries. Thus, the menopause transition signals the end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life. Functional disorders affecting the reproductive system like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease, and cancer of the reproductive organs can cause women to go into menopause at a younger age. Menopause has a wide starting range, but can usually be expected in the range of 42-58 years. Other causes of early menopause can be related to cigarette smoking, higher body mass index, racial and ethnic factors, illnesses, chemotherapy, radiation, and the surgical removal of the uterus and/or both ovaries.
Menopause is a transition phase in the life of a woman. Understand that hormonal changes may start as early as the mid-30s but more commonly may be seen by age 50-51. Decline in estrogen levels may cause: Hot flashes, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, difficulties in sleeping, rapid mood swings, depression, irritability, lack of motivation, aggressiveness, fatigue, tension and anxiety. It is easy to see why these changes can cause physical and sexual problems. Therefore, relationships with your mate and others may be affected significantly. It is imperative to navigate through this transition by educating yourself and those around you regarding what you are going through. Understanding this phase of your life transition by you and others around you is the first step in successfully dealing with the ups and downs of the menopause transition.