What Is Menopause?
What is menopause? Simple, but important question every woman should answer correctly.
Some misunderstanding exist right from this very outset of what
menopause really is. Is it the time of cessation of menses, the period
of irregular menses and other symptoms, the years after the last
Menopause is an unavoidable change
menopause transition period is complete and there have been no periods
for 12 months, that does not mean you cease to be a woman!
What Is Menopause?
The term “menopause” comes from two Greek words men- ( month) and pausis (
cessation or stop). Hence literally, menopause is the cessation of the
monthly periods.Yes, it highlights the link between menopause and
menstruation. But there is more to it than this literal definition
- Menopause is the transition period in a
woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs, her body produces
less estrogen and progesterone, and menstruation becomes less frequent,
eventually stopping altogether.
- It is not a disease but the unavoidable shift from one phase of life to another.
medical or clinical definition of menopause brings on an additional
element to this literal definition- the aspect of time. Because the
monthly cycles become irregular during the years before finally stopping
forever,an allowance of 12 months has been used to define menopause.
This implies menopause is not a span of time but a precise date or day,
precisely the day after the very last menstrual flow.
In other words, menopause is the time after which no menses occur for
12 consecutive months. Therefore menopause is clinically taken as the
date after the very last menses flowed. Hence to ascertain menopause,
you have to wait for 12 months. Once 12 months have elapsed, menopause
is now certain technically, but the woman is already 12 months past it!
that is just the technical aspect of it. Why? To eliminate all
uncertainties brought by irregularity. A woman could think she is
already in menopause only to have another flow after 6 months!
Amongst women however, the most popular usage of the word is not the
technical one, of course, because they are more concerned about the
practical changes and implications more than the technicalities.
to most women is used to refer to the whole of the transition years or
perimenopause, when they begin to have some symptoms or menstrual
irregularity. It is also called “the change” , “the change of life” or
Another common usage of the term menopause is
to refer to all the years after the cessation of menses. Medically
speaking, these are not the years of menopause but postmenopause.
To fully comprehend the response to the question ” what is menopause”, common related words must be put in context.
is the time span from the moment your menses become irregular to the
moment when they have ceased for 12 months.It is called the
“climateric”. The hormonal changes that produce the menopause effects
are gradual , both at their onset and complete cessation and therefore
the symptoms of the transition period gradually increase at onset and
taper off at cessation.
Common changes are the famous “hot
flashes” and irregular menses. It often start in the mid 40’s though
some women can begin noticing some symptoms by age 35.
This refers to the years from the onset of the transition phase to the last menstrual flow.
describes the occurrence of menopause before the age of 40. Also note
that menopause after 55 is considered late. Both may need medical
This refers to the years
after the last menstrual bleed. For women who have had a hysterectomy,
there is no menstrual bleed and menopause can be confirmed only by
measuring the levels of the menstrual hormones( FSH).
Return From What Is Menopause To Menopause And Menstruation
Return From What Is Menopause To Menstruation Home