There are a number of words related to menopause. Below, a glossary of menopausal terms has been compiled.
Glossary of Menopausal Terms
The following are some of the most important stages in menopause.
Menopause is the moment at which a woman ceases to menstruate. The word “menopause” is often used to describe the menopausal transition as a whole, including the years of menopausal symptoms which run up to the moment of menopause. However, this is incorrect. Menopause, the moment at which a woman stops being reproductive, occurs 12 months after experiencing her last period.
Early menopause is when a woman's body goes through the menopausal transition at an early age. In some cases, a woman experiences menopausal symptoms, and stops menstruating prematurely. This is a condition is usually caused by surgical procedures, such as hysterectomies.
Premenopause covers the years during which a woman is not menopausal. Premenopause is the time in between a woman's first period, and the time when she starts to experience the first symptoms of menopause. This stage spans from the ages of around 13 to 40 or 50.
Perimenopause is the time before menopause. Usually referred to simply as “menopause”, it is during this time that a woman may experience menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. A woman typically enters perimenopause between the ages of 40 and 50.
Postmenopause is the time following the menopausal transition. This is when a woman does not have periods, and is no longer fertile. Postmenopause is usually after the age of 55.
Continue reading more information on perimenopause.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.