Menopause historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Rahmah Al-Edresi, M.D.[2]


Menopause is the permanent cessation of the menstrual cycle in women without any pathological causes because of physiological deficiency production of estrogen hormone in women.Menopause happens in women between 49 to 52 of age at the average, it is considered a natural end to fertility in women. Menopause is a date: the day after a woman's last period ever finishes. In common everyday parlance, however, the word "menopause" is usually not used to refer to one day, but the whole of the menopause transition years. This period time is also referred to as the change of life or the climacteric, the cessation of menses, and 'climacteric' to gradual changes of ovarian function that happens before the menopause and continue forever. And more recently is known as "perimenopause", (literally meaning "around menopause"). A woman is considered in menopause after amenorrhea for 12 months and she becomes suffering from the menopausal symptoms whose intensity varies from woman to another.

Historical Perspective

The possible significance of menopause in human evolution

The Grandmother hypothesis considers that the menopause may have been selected for in human evolution, because later life infertility could have conferred an evolutionary advantage by allowing older women to spend more time helping with the survival of their existing children and grandchildren.

Menopause in other species

Unlike humans, other mammals rarely experience menopause, but it does exist in some of the other few mammal species that experience menstrual cycles, such as rhesus monkeys[3] and some cetaceans.[4]

However, menopause exists in some other animals, many of which do not have monthly menstruation in this case, the term means a natural end to fertility.[5]


  1. Singh A, Kaur S, Walia I (2002). "A historical perspective on menopause and menopausal age". Bull Indian Inst Hist Med Hyderabad. 32 (2): 121–35. PMID 15981376.
  3. Walker ML (1995). "Menopause in female rhesus monkeys". Am J Primatol. 35: 59–71.
  4. McAuliffe K, Whitehead H (2005). "Eusociality, menopause and information in matrilineal whales". Trends Ecol Evolution. 20: 650.
  5. Walker ML, Herndon JG (2008). "Menopause in nonhuman primates?". Biol Reprod. 79 (3): 398–406. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.108.068536. PMC 2553520. PMID 18495681.

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