Dr. Sitruk-Ware describes when perimenopause occurs.
The definition of the last menstrual period is not easy to give because at some stage the women may be for three months without menses, but they are still not yet menopaused. And many physicians and scientists prefer to define the menopause once the woman has a full year without menses. And another way is to define the absence of menses after the course of progesterone or progestins, which are the second hormone that the woman lack when she reaches menopause.
During the years 45 to 50 or 50 to 55, and during this last year when the follicles in the ovary have decreased to a very small number, the woman may still secrete estrogen but not progesterone, and giving her progesterone would induce menses again. And when she stops having menses after a course of progestin, it means she has no longer estrogens and she is in menopause.
Another method is, of course, to determine the hormones by taking a blood sample and measuring the hormones and having very low estrogen levels and a high FSH, which is a hormone produced in the brain, would sign the diagnosis of menopause.
About Dr. Sitruk-Ware, M.D.:
Dr. Régine L. Sitruk-Ware is a reproductive endocrinologist and the executive director of research and development at the Population Council’s Center of Biomedical Research. She supervises the basic research in reproductive biology as well as the pre-clinical research and clinical development of new molecules designed for reproductive healthcare in men and women suitable for use in developing countries. Prior to joining the Council, she had a successful academic career in Paris, France and then an international career in research and development. She taught and conducted clinical research in reproductive endocrinology at the University of Paris for ten years. From 1983 to 1989 she was a member of the International Committee for Contraceptive Research (ICCR), established by the Population Council in 1970. RSW is now chairing the ICCR since January 2007. She is a member of several national and international medical societies. She has been a founding member of the International Menopause Society and a member of its Board for several terms and is presently the General Secretary of that society. She is also member of the Expert group on Hormonal Contraception of the European Society for Contraception. She is the Program Director and Principal Investigator of a NIH Center grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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