What is menopause and why does the body need it?

What is menopause and why does the body need it?

Menopause is called a time-stretched, but relatively short-lived process of the extinction of the reproductive function of the body. First of all, let’s clarify: menopause as a phenomenon is equally characteristic of both sexes. However, its signs and manifestations in men and women vary markedly. In addition, the long-term effects of menopause, depending on the gender of the individual, will also be different. It should be emphasized that with it only the function of conception is subjected to reverse development (in the case of a woman, it is also bearing and childbirth). Sex drive, as well as the ability to experience an orgasm in both sexes, can persist up to 70 years of age and older.

It is believed that the normal period of menopause in women is somewhere in the interval between 47 and 54 years. In other words, most women celebrate their 50th anniversary with some signs of the extinction of childbearing function. In men, menopause is much less pronounced, but it is more stretched over time. The normal time of its onset is between 50 and 60 years. In principle, the symptoms of menopause in both sexes are approximately the same – only insignificant details differ. And the reason why most men notice this stage less than most women is the speed with which it passes in some and others.

The fact is that the male reproductive system is formed faster and earlier than the female. As we know, this fact causes a lot of trouble to parents of adolescents … However, the peak of its activity in the stronger sex is more pronounced, lasts less and falls at a younger age. We are likely to be amazed, but the fact remains – the maximum sexual activity of a man lasts only a few years. Usually we are talking about the age of 17 to 20 years, and then a gradual decrease in the speed of its work begins. In other words, men “approach” the climacteric threshold at the stage of significantly less sexual activity. And its decline looks simply much smoother – after all, this process does not take 2-3 years, but a good half of life.

Naturally, in women everything looks different. The beautiful half of humanity gains the ability to successfully continue the race literally with the beginning of critical days. But the real chances for a girl to get pregnant and, most importantly, to successfully bear and give birth to a child at the age of 14–15 are much less than at 18. In other words, the woman’s reproductive system, being arranged somewhat more complicated, takes much longer to form than the man’s. Hence the later dates that nature gives her for a full pregnancy and uncomplicated childbirth. But the peak of activity of the woman’s reproductive system falls on the age from 18 to 30 years, which is much more than that of the representatives of the opposite sex. And the first serious changes in her work, allowing us to talk about a noticeable decrease in the chances of pregnancy, are registered in women only from the age of 35.

However, it does not hurt us to recall that these are the modern ideas about puberty, optimal childbearing age, etc. Different eras with different lifespan have also judged this issue differently. For example, everyone who read Romeo and Juliet will easily remember that they were 15 years old in love … This fact has no relation either to the plot of the play or to its meaning. It’s just that the work was written at a time when women often entered into marriage at this age. And their first pregnancy occurred, respectively, long before modern adulthood. By the way, these ideas also applied to men: a 17-year-old boy was considered an already established man. That is, a full-fledged member of the society, having the right to start a family, inherit property, hold official positions – in a word, lead a completely independent, adult life.

Such early maturity, marriage, and other attributes accompanying the desire to continue the race were explained by a much shorter life expectancy than now. In the time of Shakespeare, 30 years was considered an age closer to old age than youth. People who have reached this age threshold were perceived approximately as 50-year-old men and women are perceived in our time. Accordingly, 50 years – it was already a clear old age, with elements of decrepitude and sad predictions for the next five years. Relatives of such “old men” were already preparing for the inevitable, waiting for this event at any moment. It is interesting that, as a rule, such representations corresponded to the biological state of the organism. That is, a 30-year-old man or woman was quite pulled by 45 both externally and in terms of basic health indicators.

Therefore, such an early (from our point of view) mortality was due not only to the persistence of military conflicts. Very often, the lack of hygiene of life and intimate relationships was to blame for it. As well as the impossibility of medicine to offer effective treatment for many diseases (especially infections), epidemics, hard physical labor, etc. The reality of past centuries was that the closer a woman came to 18 years (earlier – the age of the so-called old virgin), the less she has a chance of a successful first pregnancy and childbirth. That is, biological age did occur in most people much earlier, and the social order only sought to take this into account.

The level of development of human society then left much to be desired in many respects – including not only morality, but also the conditions of basic comfort. Therefore, the term “climax” in medicine for a long time simply did not exist. He was not considered a systemic phenomenon because rarely did anyone live to see it start – not to mention life after it ended. And as soon as the situation began to straighten, the life span “crawled” upwards. Of course, this began to change the general view of age categories and what is optimal in a given period. For some time now, doctors began to notice that a fairly large number of people turned to them at the same age, with the same complaints. Climax was singled out as a special phenomenon precisely because science had the opportunity to compare its symptoms from the observation of a more or less impressive number of patients. But this happened only closer to the middle of the twentieth century, that is, relatively recently.

Now the average life expectancy in developed countries is 80 years, in developing countries – about 60. As you can see, high living standards and the quality of medical care are not empty words. The inability to obtain them reduces the life expectancy much more noticeable than the smog or GMO in food products that is characteristic of highly developed megacities.

Along with the increase in the total period that an average person spends on earth, some stages of the development of his body have changed. As already mentioned, earlier 15 years of age was considered optimal both for the onset of sexual activity, as well as for pregnancy, marriage, etc. At present, we have to objectively admit that young people of this age are poorly adapted to both the first and second, and even to the third.

It’s not only the difference in upbringing, it’s the matter of the general biological immaturity of many functions of the body observed in adolescents who are no longer considered and are not adults. We are talking about biological indicators that are not directly related to the level of moral or psychological development. Plus, we agree, our old age does not come at the age of 40, but much later. As a matter of fact, even with an average life expectancy of 60 years, we do not perceive people of this age as “deep old men.” The grandfather and grandmother of our century is a man or woman older than 70 years, but not “a little over 50”.

Accordingly, a number of changes affected the childbearing period. Yes, 18–25 years old is the best time for conception of the first child by both a man and a woman. But – only from a biological point of view, since the vast majority of people relate to relationships and even more so to marriage at this age with great distrust. The optimal period for marriage in our, so to speak, heads is pushed ever farther – to the 30-year-old threshold. And although the time for the “ideal conception” has not changed after him, it must be recognized that modern technologies give every chance of a successful pregnancy and childbirth, even after the age of 35. So there is no need to “stretch” the recommendations on biological dates. If a man and a woman decided to make their first child only by the fortieth anniversary, the medicine of our day will fully ensure the success of their undertaking.

Thus, times, as we see, are changing. And you can’t say that only they. New standards of life allow the human body to form more leisurely. And to fulfill all the functions assigned to him exactly when he is completely ready for this. And the general logic of the development of society leads to the fact that many previously mandatory tasks are now relegated to the background, giving way to others that previously simply did not exist.

In particular, it was the change in our ideas about social success and financial stability that led to a change in our views on conditions that are optimal for marriage and procreation. Now, touching upon this topic, we are thinking first of all about the financial side of such an event as replenishment in the family. The idea that we may not have time to realize our chance in pursuit of a career and financial well-being seems to us, at least, strange, and to most – ridiculous. And we have every reason for that, because now late labor is not a problem at all. As a rule, the early ones constitute a much bigger problem …

But many biological terms both were, and remained, so to speak, in their places. Yes, the technologies of our century expand the body’s capabilities in periods that are not ideal, but so far suitable for the fulfillment of a particular biological task. But this does not mean that the same task, completed on time, would not have had a better result, would not have been achieved with less effort, etc. Now, as once, our body prefers to do everything in a timely manner. That is, the hands of his biological clock are still inexorably measuring time from birth to death. Therefore, the general framework of the ideal period for procreation has remained the same here – from 16 to 30 years for both sexes. And then comes the turn of already quite noticeable changes. And they relate not only to the reproductive function, but also to the general condition of the body.

In most relationships, the rate of extinction of reproductive function is closely related to the biological age of our body. No matter how representatives of both sexes choose to remain young until old age, it is important for us to understand that this is impossible. And it is impossible not only because of gray hair, flabby mammary glands, problems with erection, which will still give out our true age.

Inhibition of childbearing functions is caused and accompanied by a number of other changes in the body. Over the years, absolutely all people increase the number of cholesterol plaques on the walls of blood vessels. The heart muscle is decreasing in all of us, moisture is leaving the cartilage of the spine and joints, and each body tissue is being updated more slowly. Aging is a gradual slowdown in recovery processes and, therefore, a deterioration in the state of all cells and tissues at the same time. But such “activities” as sexual intercourse, orgasm, pregnancy and childbirth are processes accompanied by an increased load on a more or less extensive range of systems. First of all, on the heart and blood vessels – not in vain after the age of 50 years, orgasm and myocardial infarction often go hand in hand. Then to the endocrine system and finally to the musculoskeletal system.

We do not think about the compliance of the loads during intercourse with the maximum that we can afford in our years. And this is understandable, because the opportunity to “return to youth” for at least half an hour is always very attractive. And therefore, all the consequences of continuing sexual activity at an age when nature considers it superfluous, we learn from experience with the use of “prolonging youth” drugs. For example, hormonal or others, like the famous Viagra … Although, we must pay tribute to our prudence, we usually understand that pregnancy after 50 is already too much. Moreover, it is for biological, and not social or financial reasons.

In sum, we see that menopause, like any other age-related phenomenon, simply could not be not laid down in our body. It blocks the first, as a rule, the most dangerous function for a decrepit body – conception. At the same time, both sexes significantly reduced sexual desire. Nevertheless, the desire and need to have a more or less active sexual life persists for a long time after the failure of the reproductive function. So, if menopause occurs in both sexes in the period of 50-60 years, then many people continue to maintain sexual contact until the age of 70 and even older. Therefore, it should be recognized that menopause is necessary for the body for a kind of self-defense against cases that at a certain age simply cannot end safely. Therefore, no matter how we perceive it, the desire to postpone or completely cancel it is not rational. In any case, while with him we did not learn to stop other processes associated with aging.

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