Once the event of menopause has occurred, a woman is said to be in late menopause. It is generally believed that the late menopausal phase begins when 12 full months have passed since the last menstrual period.
In late menopause a woman's hormone patterns have changed significantly, because the ovaries are no longer producing estrogen or progesterone. Instead of them fat cells continue to produce estrogen at around 40 per cent of previous levels. The ovaries have now begun to shrink in size but still have quite an important role in late menopause since some hormones continue to be produced there.
In recent years, the importance of late menopause has increased particularly in western society, because, with a life expectancy of over 80 years, many women can expect to be late menopausal for over one third of their lives.
Unfortunately late menopause can raise new health concerns or still causes menopause symptoms, resulting from the body's decreasing production of hormones. Osteoporosis,
a degenerative bone disease,
and heart disease are the most serious potential health concerns of the late menopause years. These conditions may lead to a significant reduction in quality of life, for both the individuals affected and their relatives. Women can take command of these health risks by implementing changes in their lifestyle and by exploring the range of preventative treatments available.
From now on, a woman will be late menopausal for the rest of her life.