The menopause, or climacteric period, is initiated by a change in ovarian function. Over the course of several years, the ovaries stop working and hormonal blood levels are changing. With missing and intermittent ovulation, progesterone is no longer released and oestrogen production decreases, until it completely comes to an end. Before the menopause, oestrogen is the dominant hormone of the first 14 days of a regular cycle. The other 14 days of the cycle progesterone takes over. With the change of ovarian function ovulation stops and the hormonal teamwork gets out of order. The decreasing blood levels of both hormones lead to an imbalance and hormonal deficiency that is mainly responsible for the beginning of cycle irregularities, dysfunctional uterine bleeding and later to the cessation of menstruation. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweating and sleep disturbances are the most typical symptoms of hormonal deficiency.

APROM ID# 3079. May 2011.