What is Menopause?
Menopause is defined as the state of permanent cessation of menstrual cycles (periods) for 12-months.
Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 55 and is a natural biological event in a woman's life. However, some woman experience it sooner i.e. before the age of 40 and this is called 'Premature Menopause'.
During menopause, the ovulation (egg production) ceases; thus eliminating the possibility of pregnancy. In some women, menstrual activity stops suddenly, but it usually tapers off, both in amount and duration of flow and frequently the menstrual periods become more closely or more widely spaced. This irregularity may last for 2 or 3 years before menstruation finally stops. This biological transition is indeed a very crucial part of the ageing process.
'Experiencing Menopause' is experiencing a transition in life for a woman. No more periods, no more child-bearing, no more milk producing capability are but some of the things that immediately hits a woman. There are also changes in appearance and less vaginal secretions that follow. This transition can be the most traumatic and at times psychologically depressing but there are two sides to it- on one side there is sadness and gloom but on the other there is liberation and freedom from the monthly routine and perhaps sometimes more wisdom and maturity.
Some women experience no symptoms, while others experience mild to severe symptoms like hot flashes, night sweating, mood swings and vaginal dryness. Natural menopause requires no treatment. However, hormone therapy with estrogen along with certain diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce the severity of the symptoms of menopause.
One should accept Menopause and age gracefully - for "As a white candle in a holy place so is fine beauty of an aged face." -Joseph Campbell: (The old woman)