Chapter 11 – Menopause

Summary of chapter

Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation resulting from the loss of ovarian follicular activity. The word ‘menopause’ is commonly used to describe the last menstrual period a woman experiences. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 in Australian women with an average age of 51-52.(1)

Menopause is a retrospective diagnosis and is said to have occurred after 12 months amenorrhoea for women over 50 years.

Premenopause includes the reproductive years before the onset of perimenopausal hormone fluctuations and associated symptoms.

Early menopause is menopause which occurs between the ages of 40 and 45.

Perimenopause is the transition from reproductive age through to menopause.

From the beginning of perimenopause to the last menstrual period is called the menopause transition, and this term can be used interchangeably with perimenopause. The different stages of perimenopause are defined in the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop criteria(2) (Figure 11.1).

During early perimenopause, there are large fluctuations of hormone production from the ovaries with oestrogen levels swinging up and down. Initially, symptoms primarily consist of menstrual irregularity, but as time progresses, symptoms may also include hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, aches and pains and mood changes.  Symptoms such as sore ... Buy now