Menopause is a natural process of biological aging. This occurs when a woman’s body finally takes a complete break from the process of a potential pregnancy ever since she was a preteen or a teenager. It marks the end to approximately a 40-year cycle, with a total of 500 to 600 unfertilized eggs (when there is no active pregnancy), and about 200 odd liters of blood released in total. No wonder many women nowadays welcome the onset of menopause as a second chance at freedom. One does not have to go through cramps, PMS, medication, and have restrictions on movements any longer. In addition, women this age are often in their empty nest period and have lesser stress and strain.
Having regular menstrual cycles approximately every four weeks, a woman enters her perimenopause stage where she could experience cycles closer to each other with heavy bleeding, or cycles spreading apart with lighter bleeding. Perimenopause is said to last anywhere from a few months to a few years.
When a woman has lived a life consisting of healthy living habits and has taken timely care of her body, the onset of menopause is an easy transition. Some cultures even celebrate the onset. In the Mayan culture, a woman is considered to be wise and is revered to lead spiritual ceremonies. In some regions in India, women are accepted in male circles where they would have not been allowed earlier. In ancient European and Egyptian culture, they were considered to have become bewitched and needed to be locked up. In the Western world, with the onset of menopause women tend to focus on their lowered desire for sexual activity and take steps to revitalize their libido. This is also a fear of not being able to hold a marriage or a relationship due to their reduced desire and ability for sex. A reduced desire for sexual activity occurs due to a lowered production of estrogen, a woman’s primary sex hormone. This hormone controls the menstrual cycles, the release of eggs, and maintains a women’s biological and sexual wellbeing.
A few causes for an early onset of menopause are due to surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus, radiation treatments due to other illnesses, tobacco use, and hormone therapy of autoimmune diseases.
In Modern times, with the advancement in the quality of life, there is no marked change when a natural transition to menopause occurs, unless a woman has had difficulties and complications in her health, or has led an unhealthy life. Biologically, some women see a change in their body mass (losing or gaining weight) and for some it also marks the onset of loss of bone mass, leading to bone-related illnesses.