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As a women passes through her thirties into her fifties a number of changes take place in her body structure, nutritional requirements, and her
reproductive system. This transition period, known as the climacteric, typically begins in a woman's thirties with irregular menstrual cycles. These climacteric changes
often continue well into a woman's sixties.
This transition period brings about decreasing or imbalanced hormone levels, reduced egg production, physical changes in the woman's reproductive system as well as
psychological changes. Hormonal changes in particular, can cause various symptoms even in younger women.
For most women, menopause occurs around the age of fifty, but it's process begins nearly twenty years earlier. It is a normal part of the aging process, and is
said to have occurred when a women has not had a menstrual cycle for about a year. As a woman enters menopause her ovaries stop releasing eggs and her menstrual periods
The most significant change at this time involves hormones produced by the ovaries. This includes several forms of estrogen and several androgens, as well as
progesterone. Depending on the woman, this can result in significant hormone imbalance which in turn, gives rise to some severe symptoms associated with menopause.
These hormone imbalances also cause changes throughout the woman's entire reproductive system. Sexual issues are common. Vaginal lubrication decreases and the vaginal
walls become thinner, dryer and less pliable, often resulting in discomfort or even pain with intercourse. This can result in avoidance of sex or even a complete loss of
libido. In addition, changes in the normal bacterial flora in the vagina result in an increased risk of vaginal yeast and urinary tract infections.
Preventive measures include proper nutrition and exercise as well as careful balancing of hormone levels to maintain proper biological levels.
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