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What Exactly is Menopause?3 min read

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Caroline Hedges

Writer, thought-provoker, and a female of an undisclosed age. She writes about health, cosmetic surgery and wellness with wit and honesty.

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Menopause is a great leveller. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, tall or short, slim or cuddly, if you are a women it is going to come for you. But what exactly is menopause and what age are women when it hits?

Who Called It Menopause?

Scientists have long known about the changes that women go through as they age. Aristotle noted that women could not get pregnant after 50 years of age and an English physician Thomas Sydenham way back in the 1600s observed that women were prone to hysterics around the age of 50 and concluded that intensive blood letting was the cure.

Yet it wasn’t until 1821 that someone finally gave it a name. French physician Charles Pierre Louis De Gardanne spent many years studying the symptoms women experienced as they aged. In an article, he dubbed it ‘De La menepausie,’ and the term has stuck. Should we be grateful to him for coining the term? Yes! This article started centuries of research, consideration, and supposed cures. Although there have been some horrific considerations – which included surgeries performed in the 1780s and institutionalization of menopausal women in the 1870s. 

Fortunately, the 20th Century saw many advances in understanding menopause and how to treat it. In 1929, Nobel-prize winner Edward Doisy isolated Estrogen and a short time later Estradiol – both sex hormones that play a huge role in women’s reproduction and aging. In 1930, perhaps the biggest breakthrough occurred when Bernhard Zondek discovered estrogen in the urine of pregnant mares. That urine paved the way for hormone replacement therapy.

What Does Estrogen Do for You?

Estrogen is one of the most important sex hormones in a woman. It regulates the menstrual cycles, helps develop breasts, wider hips, and pubic and armpit hair. It stimulates the growth of the eggs in ovaries and works within the vagina to produce lubrication. An Estrogen imbalance can produce acne, loss of sex drive, depression, weight gain, mood changes, hot flashes, irregular or no menstruation, and osteoporosis. 

All of the above symptoms are common in women going through the menopause. And most women begin to experience these symptoms around age 40 when Estrogen levels start to decline. 

How Can You Balance Your Estrogen Levels?

As mentioned previously, traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) contains horse urine and other synthetic hormones. But there are other options. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) are a more natural treatment, using plant compounds that are identical chemically to the hormones that our bodies produce naturally. They can help with mood changes, hot flashes, memory loss, loss of libido, and pain during sex and a myriad of other symptoms common with menopause.

Through a relatively simple blood test, your hormone levels are worked out. The results of this lab testing will determine if BHRT is a good fit for you.

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Are you experiencing any of the menopause symptoms?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, we invite you to arrange for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the MedHealth360 practitioners to explore whether bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a fit for you. To find out more whether MedHealth360 can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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