Overview from My Physician Guide to Menopause:
Menopause occurs at some point in every woman’s life. It is a condition where
there is a complete cessation of menstruation due to the declining ovarian function. It is
not considered an illness as it is part of the normal biological process during a woman’s
life. The premenopausal stage can start as early as the late 30s. During this stage, the
woman may notice irregularities in her menstrual period; it may increase, decrease and
lapse for several months.
There are two types of menopause: natural and surgical menopause. In natural
menopause, the cessation of menstruation is caused by the failing functioning of the
ovaries which leads to inadequate secretion of hormones. The change happens
gradually, until the secreted hormones are not enough to initiate a regular menstrual
period. On the other hand, in surgical menopause, the cessation of menstruation is
triggered by the removal of reproductive organs. TAHBSO or Total Abdominal
Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the
uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. When this procedure is done, an induced
menopause will immediately occur. Bilateral oophorectomy will also cause the same
result as the ovaries are removed completely. Whenever the ovaries are removed, there
will be an immediate cessation of menstruation as the production of estrogen and
progesterone is suddenly stopped. Oftentimes, the changes that the woman will feel in
surgical menopause are more severe than in natural menopause because of the
sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. In natural menopause,
the estrogen and progesterone levels drop gradually over time.
Rapid onset changes to the body will occur as sudden estrogen withdrawal
symptoms manifest. There will be recurrent hot flushes, headaches, and mood swings
to name a few symptoms. For this reason hormonal levels in the blood are continuously
monitored and proper treatments are required until homeostasis (balance) is found.
Although natural and surgical menopause is different from each other in terms of
causes and period of onset, they still have similarities in terms of signs and symptoms…………………..
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