What is Menopause? Factors affect menopause

Menopause is a natural process in the body of a woman as a result of which menstrual function ends. This stage of physiological changes is programmed genetically, and its manifestations and timing are determined by many factors. This period is caused by the extinction of ovarian activity - namely, their ovulatory and hormonal function. In other words, it is possible to define menopause as a transition from the reproductive phase to a nonproductive one, in which the possibility of natural conception and the birth of a child disappears. Another period of menopause with characteristic symptoms is called the menopause. In medical practice, several concepts are divided - natural menopause - largely caused by genetic and internal factors and pathological - as a consequence of hormonal disease or drug correction of hormonal background.

Usually menopause occurs at the age of 47 - 52 years. But there are features in which the timing can significantly shift: early menopause is diagnosed if menstruation disappears before the age of 40, late menopause occurs at the age of 56 to 65 years.

What factors affect the timing of menopause?

  • Genetic - the number of ovarian follicles is genetically determined, the ability of these follicles to synthesize during the maturation period estrogens, the work of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which take an active part in the regulation of the menstrual cycle, is also largely genetically programmed.
  • Socio-economic - statistically determined that among women with higher incomes not involved in work where physical labor is required or prolonged neuropsychic stress later menopause occurs.
  • Geographical - the abundance of the sun greatly contributes to the earlier onset of menstruation and their later cessation.
  • Psychological - frequent stresses, dative nevronopsychic overstrain, constant emotional shocks can bring the timing of menopause closer.
  • Behavioral - among women who have an active sex life, are satisfied with sexual intercourse, menopause usually occurs somewhat later than among women who are coldly related to sexual life.
  • Chronic diseases of various organs and systems: mental disorders, diabetes mellitus, diseases of the cardiovascular system, liver diseases, oncological diseases.

What is the mechanism of menopause?

 The onset of menopause is a multifactorial process. In fact, a number of changes occur in the woman's body, leading to the disappearance of menstruation.

Decrease in the number of ovarian follicles - this process is partly due to the fact that some of the intrauterine inoculated follicles matured and, as a result of ovulation, were taken out as an independent swimming egg. This is partly due to hormonal changes that reduce the activity of follicle maturation, and therefore to a decrease in ovarian activity in general.


Reducing the sensitivity of follicles to hormones of the pituitary gland is largely due to genetics. However, some hormonal and gynecological diseases can contribute to the early development of this mechanism. As a result of a decrease in sensitivity to the hormone of the pituitary gland, the ovaries reduce the activity of ripening of the follicles.


Decreased ovarian estrogen secretion - this factor is associated with the mechanism described above. After all, the fluid contained in the ripening follicle is rich in estrogens, which partially flow to the systemic bloodstream.


Violation of the secretion of pituitary hormones - in many ways this process is due to genetics. The ovaries also have a significant effect on pituitary activity, namely: a reduction in the level of progesterone and estrogen in the blood.

Diagnosis of menopause, diagnosis of possible complications.

In most cases, there is no difficulty for the specialist. Based on the above symptoms and laboratory test data, it is not difficult to detect menopause. However, the set of symptoms, the level of sex hormones, can vary in different women in large ranges, so the diagnosis of menopause is based on the combination of all the detected symptoms and the dynamics of these indicators.

Laboratory studies in diagnosing menopause are based on the following criteria:

  • 1. Low level of estradiol in serum (less than 30ng / nl)
  • 2. Increased values ​​of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone in the blood)
  • 3. Ratio of LH (luteinizing hormone) / FSH less than 1
  • 4. Ratio of homonids of estradiol / estrone, also less than 1
  • 5. Increased level of male sex hormones
  • 6. Low level of inhibin