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Understanding menopause and its symptoms.

Understanding menopause and its symptoms.

A crucial stage in a woman's life, menopause signifies the cessation of ovarian activity. However, before this, pre-menopause can lead to various discomforts, the symptoms of which it is necessary to know and recognize. Here they are.

Summary
Published February 6, 2024, by Stéphanie, Doctorate in Life and Health Sciences — 2 min read

What is menopause?

Menopause is defined by the cessation of menstruation. Physiologically, it corresponds to the halt of ovarian activity and thus the end of menstrual cycles. Female sex hormones - estrogen and progesterone - decrease. Unlike men who produce sperm throughout their lives, women are born with a finite stock of follicles. These are small sacs in the ovaries, each containing an immature egg. At the start of each cycle, several follicles enlarge, then one is selected and develops until it expels a mature egg: this is ovulation, which occurs in the middle of the cycle.

Every woman establishes her stock of follicles even before her birth, and this reserve diminishes throughout her life until it is completely depleted: this is menopause. The follicles produce sex hormones. During the first half of the cycle, the follicle predominantly produces estrogens, while the corpus luteum, in the second half of the cycle, produces progesterone. As the follicle reserve thins, the quantity of sex hormones decreases. However, the decline in progesterone is faster than that of estrogens, leading to a period of hyperestrogenism that causes the classic symptoms of pre-menopause: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood disorders, insomnia, etc...

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