Definition: The point at which a woman's menstrual periods (menses) stop. Ordinarily, occurs naturally as part of a process called the climacteric (which includes the entire perimenopausal period) that usually takes place between the ages of 45 and 55. However, external factors can also cause menopause. "Instant menopause" can be caused by many cancer treatments, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The symptoms from this sudden cessation of hormone production (particularly from oophorectomy) are always very sudden and often very intense. Hormonal support is usually used to help a woman through this period.
A woman who has not had a menstrual period for a year or more is said to be post-menopausal.
Pronunciation: MEN oh pawz • (noun)
Also Known As: change of life, "the change", climactericO
Common Misspellings: menapause
Pamphlet About Menopause - from the NIH
Info About Surgical Menopause - from Lycos Health
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