Practical HRT: Definitions

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Climacteric years

The change of life: the years of definitive changes taking place in a woman’s body linked to the ageing process of the ovaries. The physical changes are often accompanied by changes in family and social environment which may have a profound influence on psychosocial functioning.

Perimenopause

The period of time around the menopause in which marked menstrual cycle changes occur, usually accompanied by hot flushes, and in which no 12 consecutive months of amenorrhoea have yet occurred.

Menopause

The point in time of the last vaginal bleeding induced by the influence of ovarian hormones on the endometrium. Natural menopause can only be established in retrospect, after 12 consecutive months of amenorrhoea. The median age of menopause is 51 years. In the American literature the term menopause is also being used with reference to the postmenopausal period.

Postmenopause

The period of life after the menopause.

Cardiovascular disease

Diseases of the cardiovascular system including cardiac conditions, such as coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction, and cerebrovascular disease, such as carotid occlusion and stroke.

Osteoporosis

A condition in which the bone mass per volume unit is reduced and the bone structure is changed in such a way that slight trauma causes fractures to occur.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Medication with oestrogens or a combination of oestrogens and progestogens (including perimenopausal use of oral contraceptives) for the treatment of climacteric symptoms or for the prevention of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.Read more about HRT products.

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