The menopausal period for each women marks the time of her life when function of the ovaries slows down and the menstrual flow ceases. This is a normal change following the reproductive life and ordinarily takes place in the late forties or the early fifties.

The menopausal life introduces a period free from certain responsibilities such as childbirth and its associated tribulations, but it also presents temporary physical discomforts due to the withdrawal of the female hormone to which the body has been accustomed. These discomforts vary considerably from person to person, but they may include hot flashes, muscle twitchings, sleepless nights, mental irritation, unreasonable fears and extreme nervousness. Regressive changes also may occur later in the genital region, including irritation and infection.

Most women go through the menopause with little difficulty, but about 10 to 15 percent need medical treatment, ranging from mild sedation to female hormone replacement. Such treatment is most desirable, as it relieves disabling symptoms and allows a woman to live her normal day. It should also be known that treatment of the menopausal state neither prolongs this period nor merely delays a day of reckoning; it simply allows a difficult period to pass along gracefully. Menopausal change discomforts can exist eight to ten years, years which would otherwise be completely lost to many women without the simple medical relief available everywhere.

It is true that many difficulties encountered in this period also occur at other times in life, and may not be caused by the menopause in every instance. For this reason the change of life is an ideal time for a complete physical examination to discover and treat other difficulties as well as menopause symptoms. It is far too frequent that tragedy is invited into a household in the form of cancer or similar disease because its warning symptoms were brushed off as just being due to the change of life. Also discouraging is the way “old age” difficulties following the menopause are allowed to progress unnecessarily. It is known that hormone withdrawal results in a thinning out of the bone structure, frequently about the major joints. This softening of bones often presents joint pains thought to be simple arthritis, and the result is a slowing down of joint function along with muscle atrophy, ligament fixation, and eventually the restricted, hesitant and guarded movement of the body, so often seen in the senior years of life.

Adequate treatment of the menopausal state then seeks to establish the entire physical condition and to correctly direct treatment wherever needed. This includes administration of replacement hormones and vitamins for the prevention of the more commonly expected diseases and disabilities of the latest years of life.