oa South African Family Practice - Hormone therapy : a practical guide to risk assessment for short-term symptomatic treatment of menopausal symptoms : review article

Volume 46, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



As part of its colourful history, the menopause was described in1887 as " the inability of the ovaries to retire in graceful old age...transmitting their irritation to the brain... and leading to extreme nervousness or an outburst of actual insanity." The term used for the menopause in 1899 was indeed climacteric insanity! <br>Menopause occurs with the cessation of ovarian function. It is present when there has been a period of amenorrhea for 12 consecutive months with no underlying pathological cause and it occurs at a mean age of 51 years. Prior to the menopause the patient is subjected to a period of fluctuation in estrogen levels, with menstrual irregularity as the main characteristic.

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