Menopause is called the 'change of life' as it marks an important life stage when menstruation ends for a woman. It is also the time when hormone fluctuations can lead to a range of menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, joint pain, fatigue and weight gain.
Most western women reach the menopausal years between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average being about 50 or 51 years. However each woman is different, some women reach menopausal age in their 30s and early 40s, while others keep menstruating until the late 50s.
This time in life is not the end of womanhood or sexuality. For some, the opposite is true. It is only the end of the reproductive cycle; it is not a sign of old age. This change has nothing to do with greying of the hair or a loss of sexual desire; post-menopausal women can live a very enjoyable and active life in all respects.
At menopause, a woman stops ovulating, and her ovaries stop producing oestrogen and progesterone.
In addition to its role in reproduction, oestrogen is required to stimulate receptors in the vagina, bladder, breasts, skin, bones, arteries, heart, liver and brain, and to promote normal function of these organs.
For example, oestrogen is required to keep the skin and vaginal tract moisturised and supple, keep calcium in the bones, boost libido maintain a balanced body temperature and keep the blood vessels unclogged. Cholesterol levels can increase when oestrogen declines. Menopausal symptoms may also follow a hysterectomy, or be due to an underlying hormonal disorder.
Adequate oestrogen protects and benefits our brain. In recent years, the role of oestrogen as a neurone protective agents has been well documented.
Women with very low levels or oestrogen are more prone to developing dementia and even Alzheirmer's disease. Want to know safe, natural means to optimise oestrogen levels? Read on....