When we talk about menopause we come across a series of terms, sometimes not immediately understandable, which serve to describe its symptoms and salient characteristics.
This article collects all those words useful for understanding a vast topic such as menopause.
Oocyte and Synonyms
” Oocyte “, ” oocyte “, ” ovum ” and ” egg cell ” are all synonyms of the mature female gamete which, if fertilized , gives rise to a new life; otherwise it flakes off within 12-24 hours of its release.
The ovarian follicle , on the other hand, includes the oocyte and the set of cells – called follicles – which surround it when it is still present inside the ovary .
Menopause, Premenopause and Climacteric
” Menopause ” literally means ” end of the month “, therefore of the menstrual cycle .
Consequently, we can speak of menopause only when menstruation ceases definitively and irreversibly.
From the Greek ” klimakter” which means “step”, “step”, “difficulty”, ” climacteric ” is the term that identifies the transition from sexual maturity to senescence , in a period of time that includes a pre-menopause and a post-menopause (usually varies from 42 to 54 years old).
Premenopause or Perimenopause
Premenopause (or perimenopause) is the period of variable duration from 5 to 10 years, which foresees menopause.
This condition can manifest itself with different manifestations; among these, the most frequent are dependent on the cycle and menstrual flow .
To describe the aforementioned alterations, doctors often use technical terms which – as such – can be difficult to understand.
Menstrual Flow Alterations
Abnormal menstrual flow in excess
” Hypermenorrhea ” indicates the presence of a particularly abundant menstrual flow, which can appear more or less regularly cyclically; in the latter case the flow, in addition to being abundant, also extends into the intermenstrual phase and therefore we speak of menometrorrhagia .
The simple term “metrorrhagia”, however, indicates a blood loss of uterine origin during the intermenstrual period.
Abnormal Menstrual Flow
” Hypomenorrhea ” indicates an anomaly in the amount of menstrual flow, which is scarce in quantity and duration.
Interval alterations between one Flow and another
” Oligomenorrhea ” indicates a condition in which menstruation is spaced out by longer intervals than the canonical 28-30 days of the supposed “normal” cycle.
Polymenorrhea is the inverse condition to the previous one, in which menstruation is spaced out by shorter time intervals than normal.
The term ” amenorrhea ” is used to indicate the disappearance of the menstrual cycle for at least three months. Since there can still be spontaneous release of an egg cell even after long periods of absence of the cycle, it is advisable, as a precaution, to continue the use of contraceptives in the two years following the last cycle.
Menstrual irregularities in premenopause
The menstrual irregularities that can occur in premenopause are mainly long cycles with more infrequent menstruation (oligomenorrhea) while less often short cycles with more frequent menstruation (polymenorrhea) are observed.
Other Useful Terms
” Dysmenorrhea ” is the term used to indicate menstruation accompanied by marked painful symptoms; this disorder is more frequent in the pubertal period than in the menopausal period .
” Dyspareunia ” is the term for pain during sexual intercourse ; in menopause it is often connected to the dryness of the vaginal walls .