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Your Ovaries: What Role Do They Play In Early Menopause — an article on the Smart Living Network
October 24, 2007 at 4:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Your Ovaries: What Role Do They Play In Early Menopause


Perimenopause, or early menopause, refers to the years leading up to menopause. Menopause is the day when you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months. The time period of perimenopause varies from woman to woman. It may last anywhere from 2 to 8 years, and may begin anywhere from the mid-thirties to mid-forties. The average age for reaching menopause is 51.

Some symptoms that indicate you may be entering perimenopause:

  • Irregularities in your menstrual cycle. You may have a longer or shorter menstrual cycle, skip periods altogether, and have especially light or heavy bleeding
  • Sleep problems. Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. 75 to 85 percent of women in perimenopause report experiencing hot flashes at night while trying to sleep.

Perimenopause and your ovaries:

Perimenopause is caused by a decline in the ovaries" function. Their production of estrogen and progesterone fluctuates and fertility decreases. This fluctuation of hormones is what causes the often unpleasant symptoms of perimenopause. Contrary to popular belief, the ovaries do not "shrivel and die." They remain active for several decades after menopause, producing androstenedeione, which is converted into estrone.

Fast Ovary Facts

  • Ovaries are only the size of an almond
  • Ovaries produce eggs and hormones
  • Eggs develop in follicles in the ovary
  • When you are born, you have half a million eggs in each ovary
  • By puberty, this amount has decreased to 200,000 eggs per ovary
  • Each month, 10-20 follicles begin maturing, but usually only one egg reaches full maturity. The others are reabsorbed
  • Fertilization usually occurs near the ovaries, the fertilized egg takes 5 to 6 days to travel to the uterus
  • Some women experience back pain or cramps during ovulation

Ovaries, Hysterectomies, and Perimenopause

Although perimenopause is a normal part of aging, sometimes it can be brought on by the removal of one or both ovaries in a procedure called a hysterectomy. There are different types of hysterectomy.
  • Total: removes the cervix and the uterus. This is the most common type of hysterectomy.
  • Partial: removes the upper part of the uterus, leaving the cervix in place.
  • Radical: removes the uterus, cervix, part of the vagina, and some supporting tissues.
  • Ovaries and fallopian tubes can be removed or left in place depending on the circumstances.

Conventional Medicine

  • Antidepressants. Antidepressants can help some women, but they often have side effects similar to those of perimenopause.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy. This is the introduction of synthetic hormones into the body. Although this is a common treatment, some studies have shown that it is not particularly effective and may cause serious health issues. Hormone replacement therapy has many unpleasant side efects.

Natural Alternatives

There are many ways to control symptoms of perimenopause.
  • Healthy diet
  • Daily exercise
  • Weight control
  • Supplements: Helpful in alleviating many perimenopause symptoms without negative side effects.

[sniplet Menopol]


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