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Menopause is a transition phase. Four out of five women experience some kind of discomfort and one third of these women experience serious complaints. Vasomotor symptoms are the most common complaints, but also menstrual disorders, mood swings, joint problems, urovaginal symptoms, or sexual disorders may occur. For these women the menopause has a serious impact on quality of life and consecutively societal consequences. Several treatment options are available. To date there is overwhelming scientific evidence that the benefits overweigh the risks of menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT). In the past, following the WHI study risks have been overrated or incorrectly interpreted. It is of importance that prescribing MHT should be individualised, based on the type of complaints, individual preferences and risks. Non-hormonal alternatives are available but merely not evidence-based, less effective and not always safe. For all women after menopause, healthy aging and prevention of chronic diseases is of the essence. Thus a life course approach can be of importance to make it possible to anticipate and so take prevention measures for chronic diseases with high morbidity and mortality risk, such as gender specific cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis.
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The absence of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months
The transition from the reproductive age through to menopause
Premature ovarian insufficiency
A condition characterized by amenorrhoea, hypo-oestrogenism, and elevated serum gonadotropin levels in women younger than 40 years
Follicle stimulating hormone
A hormone, secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, which stimulates the development of ovarian follicles in the female and testicular function in the male
A gonadotropin (a hormone that affects the function of the sex organs) that is released by the pituitary gland in response to luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone
Body mass index
A key index for relating weight to height
A condition of excessive proliferation of the cells of the endometrium, or inner lining of the uterus
A glycoprotein hormone structurally related to inhibin and activin from the transforming growth factor beta superfamily, whose key roles are in growth differentiation and folliculogenesis
Episodes of profuse heat accompanied by sweating and flushing
A state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings, and sense of well-being
Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calcium and bone protein
Bone mineral density
A measure of bone density, reflecting the strength of bones as represented by calcium content
Life course approach
An approach developed for analyzing people’s lives within structural, social, and cultural contexts
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- The menopause, the perimenopause and the postmenopause
drs. Dorenda K. E. van Dijken
Dr Maryam Kavousi
Monique M. A. Brood-van Zanten
Dr Loes Jaspers
Dr Mick A. A. van Trotsenburg
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum