Menopause

Menopause is typically referred to as ‘the change of life’.

By definition – menopause is the last natural menstrual period. Average age of 51 years, but it commonly ranges from 45-55yrs

Menopause is generally considered to be a three-stage process:
1) Perimenopause is the time of 8-10 years before menopause where the oestrogen levels start to decline
2) Menopause refers to the time when the menstrual periods have stopped for at least a year
3) Postmenopause is considered to begin 12 months after menstrual periods have stopped

Typical symptoms which are commonly associated with menopause include hot flushes, sweats, mood changes, disrupted sleep, lack of energy, loss of libido, weight gain.

Vasomotor symptoms
– most develop some form of vasomotor instability prior to onset
– ? effects on Raynaud’s or chilblains

Consequences of menopause:
possibly increased risk for coronary heart disease (studies have different conclusions)
osteoporosis
increase in LDL’s
oestrogen has a vasodilatory action endothelium (may be direct or via intermediaries)
elevated levels of fibrinogen (risk factor for ischaemic disease)

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