The menopause occurs when a woman runs out of eggs in her ovaries. As a result, cells that depend on oestrogen to maintain their normal homeostatic activity cease to function. A woman who is deprived of oestrogen often experiences symptoms such as flushes, sweats and a dry inelastic vagina and later in life begins to develop osteoporotic fractures, an increasing risk of heart attacks and an increased risk of Alzheimers dementia. If she is given oestrogen alone (whether by oral tablets, skin patches, skin creams or subdermal implants) to control her symptoms, she may increase the growth of the endometrium lining the uterus with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. For that reason it is important that women who still have their uterus, should be given a progestogen as well to protect the uterus from an abnormal growth in these cells. Any woman who has unexpected vaginal bleeding after her normal menopause should see a gynaecologist to ensure she does not have an abnormality in the uterus.
For a full explanation of the influence of oestrogen on women who become menopausal I suggest you obtain a copy of the recently published book - ‘MENOPAUSE : Change, Choice andHRT’ published by Rockpool Publications and now available at all major bookshops.
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