What’s it all about

Posted by on Jan 5, 2009 in menopause | 3 comments


Menopause is pretty straightforward. Right?

Clearly it’s not since all of us go through it differently depending on our genetics, physical and mental makeup and our environment. Hence, I  thought that it might be to good idea to tackle some menopause terms. Especially since there can be a lot of confusion about what menopause is and whether or not you’ve actually started.

So what’s it all about? Menopause, that is…

Natural menopause – permanent cessation of menstruation. You are not considered to be in menopause until your periods cease for 12 consecutive months  and this cessation is not linked to causes other than those that are natural. Menopause can only be determine with certainty if your final menstrual period is known.

Perimenopause – the years leading up to the cessation of menstruation. Perimenopause can last anywhere from 2 to 8 years, and includes the first year after your period stops. Perimenopause is accompanied by a barrage of symptoms as your reproductive capacity starts to end.

Premenopause – The reproductive years leading up to the menopause.

Postmenopause – The period of time following menopause.

Climeractic – a term for a woman’s transition from a reproductive to non-reproductive state during which many physiological, psychological, and sociologically changes occur.

Premature menopause – Usually, menopause that occurs before the age of 40. Note, however, that since there is no reliable measure of age distribution among women transitioning to menopause in developing countries, the cut off of 40 years of age is arbitrary. In some cases, premature menopause is interchangeable with induced menopause, which describes menopause that occurs after surgical removal of the ovaries (with/without hysterectomy) or removal  of ovarian function (due to chemotherapy or radiation).

ObGyn.net has an excellent article that goes into further detail about the physiological changes that occur during menopause. I encourage you to visit the reference if you desire more information.


  1. 1-5-2009

    Great info! About 18 months ago, I began feeling the onset of perimenopause. I wrote about my experience on my blog, Run DMT.


    • 1-5-2009

      Hi there stopping by. I read your blog – thanks for sharing the link. Hope you’ll continue to visit!

  2. 1-6-2009

    I find that in my practice also. That some women don’t understand the terms and the process. Thanks for sharing.

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