What is Menopause?
The menopause is the brief time when a woman’s reproductive life comes to an end. The ovaries stop producing eggs, the hormone “oestrogen” is no longer secreted and the menstrual periods end.
The average age of menopause in developed countries is around 51, with many women beginning to have symptoms from their mid- to late 40s. Some women may face the menopause earlier either physiologically or as a consequence of medical treatment or surgery. Women who smoke seem to reach the menopause earlier than non-smokers.
The symptoms of menopause are primarily a result of oestrogen deficiency; they may be physical but may also affect different organs and systems. They may be temporary (for example, night sweats and hot flushes) or long-term (for example, bone-thinning disease known as osteoporosis).