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The Physiological Basis For Menopause, Sexuality During Menopause, Estrogen Replacement/hormonereplacement Therapy (hrt) And Androgen Replacement

Menopause is defined as a mature woman not having a period for one year. The average age of women entering menopause in North America is 51.2 years. Most women will spend more than a third of their lives in menopause. For many, this is a fulfilling time in their lives, as they are relieved from dealing with menstruation and fears of pregnancy; while for some it means dealing with a new set of symptoms.

Menopause occurs at a time of transition in women's lives. Children are usually grown and living independently. However, there is often an increased level of responsibility and stress related to caring for aging parents. It is a time of change that can redefine partners' intimate roles in what has become an empty nest. This provides both opportunities for personal growth due to the freeing up of child-care responsibilities, but may also unmask previously avoided tensions in the relationship. These psychosocial variables profoundly affect a woman's perception of her passage through menopause.

Seventy percent of women have only a few, time-limited symptoms going through menopause. The remainder suffer to varying degrees from hot flushes, sweats, mood swings, fatigue, weight gain, vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, and loss of sexual desire. Menopausal loss of estrogen increases the future risk of osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.

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