Causes,incidence and risk factors:
Menopause ia a natural event that normally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55..Once menopause is complete(called post menopause) and the woman has not had a period for 1 year,she is no longer at risk of becoming pregnant..
The symptoms of menopause are caused by changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels..The ovaries make less of these hormones over time..The specific symptoms and how significant(mild,moderate or severe) varies from woman to woman..A gradual decrease of oestrogen generally allows your body to slowly adjust to the hormonal changes..Hot flashes and sweats are at their worst for the first 2 years of the last period..Menopause symptoms may last 5 or more years..
Oestrogen levels may drop suddenly after some medicinal treatments as is seen when the ovaries are removed surgically(called surgical menopause).Chemotherapy and anti-oestrogen treatment for breast cancer are other examples..Symptoms can be more severe and start more suddenly in these circumstances..
As a result of the fall in hormone levels,changes occur in the entire femal reproductive system.The vaginal walls become less elastic and thinner.The vagina becomes shorter.Lubricating secretions from the vagina becomes watery.The outer genital tissue thins out.This is called atropy of the labia..Women who smoke cigarettes experience menopause significantly earlier than non-smokers..Women who have undergone hystrectomy with ovary conservation go through menopause on an average of 3.7 years than the expected age..