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Definition of Induced menopause

Induced menopause (and "menopause, induced"): Menopause induced by an unusual event, such as occurs when the ovaries are damaged by radiation, chemotherapy or other medications; or as occurs when the ovaries are surgically removed (by bilateral oophorectomy).

Induced menopause is distinct from natural menopause which occurs when the ovaries naturally decrease their production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Induced menopause, due to the abrupt reduction of ovarian hormones, often causes the sudden onset of hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms such as dryness of the vaginal lining and a decline in sex drive. When the levels of hormones normally produced by the ovaries suddenly drop, changes associated with the menopause promptly take place: hot flashes (a sudden warm feeling with flushing), night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, fluctuations in sexual desire (libido), forgetfulness, trouble sleeping and fatigue, probably from loss of sleep.

Hormone therapy (HT) with estrogen and progesterone and other medications have been used to treat the symptoms of induced menopause when these are severe or disturbing. It reduces or stops the short-term changes of menopause such as hot flashes, disturbed sleep, and vaginal dryness.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=8951
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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