A syndrome characterized amenorrhoea, vasomotor disturbance often a wide variety of other symptoms which occurs when ovarian activity ceases physiolgically or after oophorectomy or irradiation of the ovaries.
The menopause normally occurs between the age of 40 and 55. The cause of menopausal symptoms is not know, but there is good reason for believing they are not all due to the same factor. The hot flushes have been attributed on scant evidence to the incrased secretion of gonadotrophins.
Many of the other manifestations seem to be expressions of anxiety, depression, or a hypothalamic fuctional disturbance.
The pathology ovaries become fibrosed no longer contain ova. All the accessory sexual organs atrophy the secondary sexual characteistics regress. Senile vaginitis, kraurosis vulvac, & leucoplakia may occur.
Menstruation may cease abruptly, or the periods may become progressively more scanty or occur less frequenily. The incidence, frequency intensity of hot flushes vary considerably. They may occur at times of anxiety or without any apparent precipitating cause. Only the upper part of the body is affected; the feeling of intense heat may or may not be associated with flushing of the skin.