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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2013 December;65(6):607-20


language: English

Hormone replacement therapy in menopause and in premature ovarian insufficiency

Luisi S., Orlandini C., Biliotti G., Scolaro V., De Felice G., Regini C., Petraglia F.

Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy


Menopause is defined by world health organization (WHO) as the permanent cessation of menstruating resulting from a loss of ovarian follicular activity, after one year of amenorrhea. It signifies the last menstrual cycle and the end of women’s fertile and reproductive life. The average age for a women to undergo menopause is 51 years; unlike menarche, whose average age has decreased over the past decades, the age of menopause has remained unchanged. We can distinguish: 1) premenopause, the time interval leading up to menopause; 2) climacteric, the time interval between the reproductive e non-reproductive life; 3) premature menopause, that occurs in 1% of women. Menopause can also be induced iatrogenically as a result of surgery, medical therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Beyond the life the number of oocytes falls until there are no more suitable follicles for reproduction and the menopause ensues. At the same time, the ability of the ovary to produce hormones falls, leading to an increasing pulsatile release of FSH in order to stimulate the ovary to produce oestrogens. Menopause is characterized by different symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, dispareunia, prolapse, vulval itching due to vaginal atrophy and dryness, urinary incontinence, dysuria, and also the psychological aspects don’t should be underestimated because of many women suffer of depression, mood instability, insomnia, fatigue and decreased libido. Long term symptoms include osteoporosis, cardiovascular and neuro-degenerative diseases. The main aim of different treatments was symptoms relief. Pharmacological agents and psychological support represent the goal for menopause treatment.

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