Menopause marks the end of menstruation in a woman’s life. It occurs because a woman stops ovulating (releasing a mature egg once monthly), and ovaries no longer produce oestrogen (one of the female sex hormones). Menopause means ‘the last period’. It is a natural event that marks the end of the reproductive years, just as the first menstrual period during puberty marks the start.
Many women, although not all, experience uncomfortable symptoms before and after menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbance and vaginal dryness. These symptoms and physical changes can be managed in various ways, including lifestyle changes like healthier eating and increased exercise, and by hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment used to relieve symptoms of the menopause. It replaces hormones that are at a lower level as you approach the rnenopause.