What is Menopause: A Definition
Menopause is something that every woman of a certain age must go through. But few really know a definition of menopause. What is this horrible condition that afflicts women with hot flashes, mood swings, and countless other annoyances?
The 3 Stages of a Woman's Life
A woman's life cycle can be divided into three hormonal stages. In her adolescent years and up through mid to late forties, she is in the reproduction stage. It is during this time that she is able to conceive and bear children.
The next stage is menopause. This part of a woman's life can come at varying ages depending on the woman. Most women usually start menopause in their late forties or early fifties. (Interesting fact: the average American woman's age to hit menopause is 51.3) It is important to remember that menopause is not a disease. It's simply a part of growing older.
The last stage of a woman's hormonal life is post-menopause. There are two phases of this stage. The early stage lasts for 5 years after a woman's last menstrual cycle. The late phase is all the years after that.
Like a Woman's Life, Menopause Also Comes in 3 Stages
This is the very beginning stage of menopause and can affect each woman differently. Some women simply stop their monthly periods all at once, while others simply become irregular...skipping two or three months only to go back on their monthly cycle again. This is the stage when symptoms of menopause can start, such as hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, and more. This phase of menopause lasts until a woman has gone a full twelve months without a period.
Technically this phase kind of overlaps with the first phase of the last stage. Basically this is when things kick Credit: Wikimedia Commons by Belinda Hankins Millerin full force. A woman's ovaries no longer release eggs...and no longer produce the hormone known as estrogen. The lack of estrogen is what plays a very large part in the miseries of menopause, and leads many women to seek the help of a doctor to go onto Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT. If your symptoms are causing you extreme discomfort, do not feel weak for seeking help. Talk to your doctor about all of your options. If you do not want to consider a prescription medication, then do a little research into the natural ways to fight menopausal symptoms. There are vitamins and mineral supplements that can help alleviate some of the symptoms.
This is that stage when the worst is usually over. The average woman's body, by the late phase of this stage, starts to readjust to its new hormone levels and things get back into a more normal, but different, keel.
Definition of Menopause
For a definition of Menopause, one must only look at it's root words. The word menopause comes from the Greek word Meno and the word Pausis. Meno means month, and pausis means to stop or pause. Basically, the definition of menopause is simply this: when a woman's monthly menstrual cycle stops.