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What is menopause?

Menopause refers to the point of time when the menstrual periods of a woman cease. Menopause usually occurs in 40s-50s.  Menopause is a natural process that marks the end of the fertile child-bearing period in a woman. In some women, menopause can happen in their early 40s and some in late 50s. The average age of menopause in Indian women has been to reported to be 46.

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Menopause occurs when the progesterone and oestrogen production by the ovaries stops. Once a woman has undergone menopause, she can’t bear children.

Menopause transition (perimenopause) refers to the years before the menopause, marked by a gradual decrease in oestrogen release by the ovaries. A lady is considered to have menopause when she does not have menstrual periods for a year. The caseation of periods due to other reasons like pregnancy or sickness is not menopause.

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References

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  1. Early age of natural menopause in India, a biological marker for early preventive health programs. Climacteric. 2012 Dec;15(6):581-6.
  2. Menopausal symptoms and the risk of young-onset breast cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2013 Mar; 49(4): 798–804.
  3. Menopause and Menopause Treatments. Frequently asked questions. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health http://www.womenshealth.gov

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