Menopause what is it and is there hope for hot flash,change of life symptoms,progesterone and estrogen use.


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Menopause: what is it?

The word menopause means "menses stopping" (menses is the medical term for your period). In the strictest sense, menopause is the date of your last menstrual period, but your doctor will not confirm that you have been through menopause until you have gone 12 months without a period.

The term perimenopause, which means "around menopause," is often used to describe the months or years immediately before menopause when your estrogen levels start to drop and you begin noticing symptoms. You're also considered perimenopausal in the first year following your final menstrual period, because you can't know that the last period was your last until the whole year goes by. The years after menopause are called post menopause.

What's happening: the biology of menopause - The passage from peri- to postmenopausal woman isn't called "the change" for nothing. Biologically, your body is going through a tremendous shift, and the major players are your ovaries.

During your reproductive years, your ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone on a fairly predictable 28- to 32-day cycle. In the first, or proliferative, phase of your cycle, the pituitary gland produces an abundance of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH causes the follicles that hold the eggs to ripen, which stimulates estrogen production. As estrogen levels rise, the hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone (LH).

As the level of LH rises and peaks, it causes the follicle to release an egg (ovulation). This usually happens 14 days before your next period, or at the halfway point of a 28-day cycle. After ovulation, the egg travels down into the fallopian tube where it awaits fertilization.

During the second, or luteal, phase of the cycle, the follicle that once held the egg (now called the corpus luteum, or "yellow body") begins to produce large amounts of progesterone. Progesterone helps build up the endometrium, or lining of the uterus, so it's ready for a pregnancy should fertilization occur.

If the egg isn't fertilized, the corpus luteum disintegrates, and progesterone and estrogen levels drop off. As a result, you shed your endometrium, or have your period. And the cycle starts over.

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have tucked away in their ovaries. When you begin menstruating, you begin releasing eggs. Throughout your youth and on into middle age, you also reabsorb eggs into your body in a process known as apoptosis. As you age, then, your egg supply dwindles. Fewer eggs means fewer follicles to hold the eggs. Because these follicles produce the bulk of your estrogen during your reproductive years, your estrogen level also declines. Your pituitary gland resists this decline by continually increasing production of FSH and LH, hoping to spur estrogen production in the follicles.

Meanwhile, progesterone levels are declining as well. With fewer eggs, ovulation becomes more of a hit-or-miss proposition. If ovulation doesn't occur, there is no corpus luteum to make progesterone, and your body doesn't receive its cue to shed the endometrium according to the usual cycle.

The fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone, and the accompanying surges in FSH and LH, cause the hallmark symptom of perimenopause -- irregular periods. As ovulation slows, your periods will become more and more infrequent. Eventually, you won't have them at all.

Medically, menopause is defined as "ovarian failure," but some doctors consider this a misnomer. The fact that the ovaries are no longer releasing eggs doesn't mean they aren't working. They still produce hormones, just not in the abundance they once did.

When does menopause happen? Most women reach menopause some time between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average being age 51. Though rare, natural menopause can occur as early as your 30s or as late as your 60s. When you will experience menopause is impossible to predict, but some clues might give you a hint.

Though each woman's timing is individual, most women reach menopause around the same age as their mothers or sisters did. Smokers tend to reach menopause about two years earlier than average. Some research links having more than one child or being overweight with a later menopause, and having no children or being chemically treated for clinical depression with an earlier menopause. [1] Women may start noticing perimenopausal symptoms in their early to mid-40s, with some women having symptoms while still in their mid-30s.

When menopause is premature? If menopause occurs naturally before age 40, doctors consider this a premature menopause. If you stop having periods before 40, see your physician. The reason could be as simple as menopause or pregnancy, but a lack of periods while you are still in your 30s or even your 20s could also be due to stress, illness, anorexia nervosa (a life-threatening eating disorder), or occasionally, pituitary problems.

Sometimes, prescription drugs play a role. For instance, if you go off birth control pills, your periods may stop temporarily for a few months. Some medications for severe depression can also halt periods.

"Surgical menopause" occurs if both ovaries are surgically removed either alone (a bilateral oophorectomy) or as part of a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus). Because your body stops producing estrogen abruptly, you're likely to experience more severe menopausal symptoms. If only one ovary is removed, you'll go through a natural menopause.

If only your uterus is removed, you'll also experience a natural menopause. Because you'll no longer have periods, you may not be able to tell you've been through the change, but you may have symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings.

Radiation therapy or the intense drugs used in chemotherapy may damage the ovaries, putting you into early "medical" menopause. Women under 35 may go into medical menopause temporarily, but women over 35 will most likely be in menopause permanently. Some drugs, such as Lupron and Synarel, can block your body's production of FSH and LH. This may also put you into menopause. But normal ovulation usually returns once you discontinue the drugs.

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Womens fx - 32 oz.- #13215
Womens fx
Many nutritionists recognize the important role that vitamins and minerals play in the adult years of women, especially for those experiencing mid-life changes due to menopause (commonly known as Change of Life ).  Youngevityy's
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Black Cohosh and Soy has been shown to have some effect on hot flashes and night sweats
Directions for use:  Take one fluid ounce per 100 pounds of body weight one to two times daily. Shake well before using. Refrigerate after opening.

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Minerals are essential to life itself!