Menopause is the beginning of a distinct transitional life phase with its own particular health issues.
The term “menopause” means cessation of menstruation during the time of the climacteric. The climacteric is the transition period in a woman's life when the ovaries stop producing eggs regularly. Production of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone declines, and menstruation decreases and eventually stops.
The exact event of menopause (the permanent cessation of menstruation) can only be determined retrospectively after no menstrual periods have occurred for 12 consecutive months. The range for the age of natural menopause is approximately between 48 to 55 years old.
Causes of menopause
Symptoms of menopause
Dr Carol Thomas MBChB (UCT) FCOG (SA) MMed (O&G) (UCT), Specialist Gynaecologist in private practice, Cape Town, Secretary South African Menopause Society and Director of the WomanSpace. March 2015.
(Previously reviewed by Dr Mike Davey, President of the South African Menopause Society, and Prof B. Schaetzing MD, FCOG (SA), FRCOG, PhD. Part-time Consultant, Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch)