Menstruation takes place in the women as a result of a cyclical loss of the ovarian follicles every month. When this monthly cycle ends, it is termed as menopause. With menopause, the natural reproductive cycle of the women ends as well. Here it can be added that the menopause results from the alterations that take place in the ovarian functions when egg production is no more the function of the ovaries. Some of the main symptoms of the menopause as highlighted in the studies include an irregularity seen in menstruation, a menopausal transitions that begins when the women turns 40. This menopause is divided in an early as well as a late phase by conventional clinical and medical studies (Burger, Hale, Robertson, and Dennerstein, 2007, p. 559). Based on a great decrease in the levels of hormones estrogen as well as progesterone, menstruation becomes less frequent There are several changes that take place in these transitions and these include several hormonal, physical, emotional changes. The symptoms that are thereby faced by the women in this transition are because of the depletion of the hormones. This paper will highlight some of the main changes that mark the transition that take place in women undergoing menopause.
There are three main categories in which the hormonal changes have been categorized. These are known as peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause. In order to learn more about the hormonal changes that take place in the women, it important to highlight three important compounds that are involved in the transition. These three estrogenic compounds include estradiol, estriol and estrone. One of the most important compounds in the reproductive cycle of the woman is Estradiol. During the phases of pregnancy, the highest level is achieved by estriol. On the other hand, it has been seen that estrone is the compound, which is at the highest level after menopause. Thereby on the hormonal basis, it has been seen that the transition is more defined by the gradual shift from estradiol to estrone (Atsma, Bartelink, Grobbee, and van der Schouw, 2006, p. 266).
Estrogen receptors are always open and when estrogen is released, they are targeted to certain specific organs because in case where there are no receptors on the organs than the release and the presence of estrogen will have no effect on the organs and tissues.
Some of the main organs on which the receptors of hormones are located include brain, heart, breasts, blood vessels, skin, bones, liver, vagina, uterus, and gastrointestinal tract. In the period of transition when there are shifts from estradiol to esterone, there are a number of physical as well as physiological changes that take place in the women.
An important fact that needs to be highlighted here that the hormonal changes that take place in the transition is more based on the changes in the number of ovarian follicles in the women's body. Other than the change in estrogen levels, some other changes that are seen include a reduction in the early cycle inhibin B. And anti-Mullerian hormone (Gracia, Sammel, Freeman, Lin, Kapoor, and Nelson, 2005, p. 129).
The level of Follicle Stimulating hormone is higher in ageing women as compared to young women. Some of the main signs of late reproductive ageing in the women include early follicular phase serum or urinary FSH. The irregularity in menstruation is because of an elevated level of FSH. The great rise in the hormone is associated with reduction in the length of menstrual cycle and a decrease in the follicular phase (Lobo, Kelsey, and Marcus, 2000, p. 20).
Some of the clinical studies have shown that elevated levels of FSH is responsible for the elevated levels of estradiol. As compared to young women, elevated levels of FSH are associated with decreased levels of inhibin B. association of inhibin B. has been seen with the development of ovarian follicles during the early follicular phase. The level of inhibin B. falls as the development of follicles reduces later in the reproductive cycle. As compared to inhibin B, the levels of inhibin A are related to the presence of dominant follicles. The levels of inhibin A does not change until there are dominant changes seen in the number and production of dominant follicles.
Various neuroendocrine changes are associated with the changes associated with the transition. One of the main reasons of the transition is the change in the number of ovarian follicles. The number of ovarian follicles falls below the critical level that is seen to be the main reason of changes and transition (Lorrain, Denesle, Petit, and Dominique, 2001, p. 12).
Some of the main physical changes that are seen in the women suffering from the transition between menstruation and menopause include mood swings, hot flashes, as well as sweating attacks. These are some of the most common symptoms. The clinical studies have highlighted that the mood swings and hot flashes can happen very frequently in the women, may be many times in one hour. In the case of sweating, it has been highlighted that they can be frequent and they can occur many times in one hour. Hot flashes can occur every three and six minutes. As it has been mentioned that the changes in the transitions are based upon the changes in the hormonal levels. These are the changes in the hormones that may cause the nervous system to become erratic and out of control causing hot flashes and sweating. In the case when the nervous system becomes erratic it is seen that the nervous systems signal the din blood vessels to open and close activating the sweat glands to become active at any time. Hot flashes and occurring of increased sweating are referred to as vasomotor symptoms. Studies have been conducted on the reasons of sweating and hot flashes. The studies have shown that there is a great increase in the skin temperatures based on peripheral vasodilation and this rise is seen at a higher level in certain body parts that include toes and fingers. In these fingers and toes, difference of the temperature with the rest of the body can be as much as 10 to 15°C (Rossouw, Prentice, Manson, Wu, Barad, Barnabei, Ko, LaCroix, Margolis, and Stefanick, 2007, p. 1466).
As a result of the changes in controls of the nervous system controls, it is seen that sweating happens in the night times based on which women tend to keep up all night that also causes great sleep disturbance. A great rise in the systolic blood pressures has been seen during the sleep as well. It has been reported that the changes in the level of estrogen is related to the occurrence of hot flushes. An important role is played by the neurotransmitters in these hot flushes. One of the most important neurotransmitter involved in the temperature regulation is norepinephrine. It has been reported that in women suffering from the symptoms of transition, the level of norepinephrine seem to be fluctuating that cause an abnormal triggering in the thermoregulatory controls in the brain. Second important neurotransmitter involved in this case is the serotonin. The reduction of estrogen causes a great decrease in the blood serotonin level that causes a great up-regulation of the serotonin receptors in hypothalamus that causes a great increase in the heat loss (Robertson, Hale, Fraser, Hughes, and Burger, 2008, p. 1140).
Other than these, some of the other physical symptoms that are seen in the women include great thinning in the skin, which is also based on the changes in the hormones. The sexual definition of women also decreases as the reduction in the hormones also causes a great decrease in the lubrication in the vagina. Effects are also seen on the bladder and urination is much more frequent. There is a great rise in chances of heart stroke and heart diseases after the transition. Unfavorable and negative changes in blood fat and cholesterol levels are also seen. With a great drop in the estrogen levels, a great decrease is seen in the bone mass as well as strength. Thinning of bones is also known as osteoporosis (Boland, and Lavelle, 2006, p. 98).
There is a great dimension of changes seen in the women undergoing the transition.
Changes in Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovary Axis
When a woman is in her reproductive life cycle, it has been reported that the release of gonadotropin releasing Hormone occurs in spurts. The receptors of the hormone are present on the pituitary gonadotrophs. When the hormone is released, it binds to tense receptors causing the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The GSH is also responsible for the ovary steroids that include inhibin, estrogen and progesterone. During the reproductive cycle, it has been seen that positive and negative feedback control is exerted by estrogen as well as progesterone on the pituitary for the release of growth hormone. Inhibin exerts…