What Is Menopause?

by Laura Ramirez on February 6, 2011

What is menopause exactly? There are so many jokes about it that it needs to be taken seriously, especially for the millions of women who are suffering with the symptoms. Although it is no laughing matter, it doesn’t require that you lose your sense of humor. In fact, looking for the positives can ease the transition.

But first, to answer the question what is menopause?: It is a natural biological process that occurs when menstruation stops and fertility wanes. Its literal meaning comes from the Greek words men (month) and pausis (termination). Natural menopause usually occurs sometime between the late 40s to early 50s in women. Those women who have undergone a hysterectomy or have had their ovaries removed are considered menopausal no matter what their age.

You are officially menopausal if you have not gone through menstruation (otherwise known as amenorrhea) for 12 months. Prior to that, you may have already started experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms due to fluctuating hormone levels, even though you’re still getting your monthly periods. The most common of these symptoms are hot flashes, night sweating, mood swings or irritability, and vaginal dryness.

What menopause is not is a medical ailment. It also does not signal the end of a woman’s sexuality and femininity. And while menopause cannot be reversed, there are plenty of remedies to alleviate its symptoms and help women going through it to live a satisfactory and fulfilling life as much as possible.

During peri-menopause, it’s important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and hormone-level testing, to rule out the possibility that certain illnesses may be causing you to experience symptoms similar to menopause such as thyroid problems. Irregular or missed periods don’t necessarily mean you are already entering menopause, so it’s better to seek a doctor’s advice rather than just assume. A medical professional can properly answer What is menopause? And make a diagnosis based on your medical and menstrual history, lab test results, as well as your overall health. They can also present you with options for the treatment of menopausal symptoms including hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones as well as natural menopause alternatives.

Menopause doesn’t have to be crippling or even terribly inconvenient. In fact, it can actually be a time of empowerment and liberation for you because you no longer need to worry about unplanned pregnancies, birth control, missed periods, cramping, and the other physical, emotional, and psychological implications of having a monthly period. You can devote yourself more to personal pursuits unhampered by the hassles of menstruation. While some symptoms can be uncomfortable, they are manageable. So the next time you hear people or yourself asking What is menopause?, you can say that it’s a transition that is birthing you into a brand new way of life.

Copyright © 2011 by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved.

Be Sociable, Share!

Previous post:

Next post: