Climacteric and Climacteric Syndrome

Generality

CLIMATERIO is a physiological period in a woman's life, which precedes and follows menopause.
During this transitional phase, the onset of physical and psychological disorders is common, which depend on the progressive deficiency of hormones (including estrogen) and on the involution of the functional activity of the ovaries.

Indicatively, the climacteric begins around 40-50 years of age and lasts about 7-10 years. Although not a pathology, this physiological phase is characterized by a series of disorders (hot flashes, insomnia, irritability and vaginal dryness) , common to many women; in fact, we speak of CLIMATERIC SYNDROME.
Fortunately, several pharmacological and natural remedies can alleviate these annoyances and contribute to a woman's well-being.

What is the climacteric

The woman's fertile period begins with puberty and ends with menopause, an event that coincides with the interruption of menstruation and the end of fertility.
In all cases, the disappearance of the menstrual flow does not occur suddenly, but is preceded by the climacteric.


Climacteric can also occur in men. In this case, it precedes and follows the andropause (colloquially, male menopause).


A few months before the cessation of menstruation, alterations in the menstrual cycle are observed (flows that are close and abundant or more spaced apart). During the same period, the ovaries cease their activity; as a result, the amount of estrogen, ie those hormones produced by the female gonads, decreases in the blood.


During the climacteric, three phases are distinguished: premenopause, menopause and post-menopause.

  • Premenopause: it begins with the appearance of cycle irregularities and / or climacteric disorders; these manifestations express the decline of ovarian function;
  • Menopause: coincides with the last menstruation after 6-12 months of amenorrhea;
  • Post-menopause: starts one year after the last spontaneous menstruation.

Causes

During the climacteric, important hormonal changes occur, which mainly manifest themselves with alterations in the rhythm and quantity of menstrual flow.
In particular, the female body produces less and less estrogen and menstruation becomes less and less frequent, until it stops completely.
After 12 consecutive months of amenorrhea (disappearance of menstruation), the woman can, for all intents and purposes, consider herself to be in menopause.


Reduction of ovarian function
As the female gonads (ovaries) age, their response to pituitary gonadotropins (GnRH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) decreases. This initially causes a shorter follicular phase (with shorter and more irregular menstrual cycles) and less frequent ovulations, then a reduced production of progesterone and estrogen.

The cessation of cyclical ovarian activity and the fertile season normally occurs around the age of 45-55 (if it occurs before the age of 40 we speak of premature menopause; if it occurs after the age of 55 we speak of late menopause).

Symptoms and complications

In the course of the climacteric, the typical disorders associated with menopause occur. These manifestations, more or less frequent and marked, are the consequence of the reduced production of estrogens and the progressive involution of the uro-genital apparatus.
Climacteric syndrome can involve some autonomic symptoms, including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Dizziness;
  • Palpitations and transient tachycardias;
  • Changes in blood pressure;
  • Vaginal dryness (atrophic vaginitis);
  • Vulvo-vaginal itching;
  • Headache;
  • Insomnia;
  • Weight gain.

The climacteric is also characterized by irregular menstrual flows:

  • Alteration of the rhythm of the menstrual cycle (oligomenorrhea);
  • Abnormal increase in cycle frequency (polymenorrhea)
  • Profuse loss of blood in conjunction with menstruation, which tends to last longer (menometrorrhagia).

These signs evolve into amenorrhea, ie in the absence of menstruation; with their definitive cessation, women lose their reproductive capacity.


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