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             Menopause is something that happens to women scores of years after their first period. A young girl doesn't dread the "changes" because she knows it won't happen until after the age of fifty. We think we have years to prepare our body for the changes it will have to endure. With a cut of a knife, a body can be thrown into menopause. A hysterectomy can cause an immediate plunge into menopause. There is no such thing as time to help a body adjust to the immediate estrogen withdrawal you go through. An invention that has been around for more than fifty years helps the body deal with the shock of losing its estrogen. Hormone replacement therapy has become a surrogate to the female hormones a woman loses during surgery. Should hormone replacement therapy be mandatory for all women who were pushed into menopause by a hysterectomy? I believe that we owe ourselves this priceless gift that scientists have given us.
             Natural menopause, as it is commonly called, begins when the ovaries cease to produce an egg every four weeks and a woman is no longer able to bear children. The ovaries reduce their production of estrogen and physical changes and side effects of that coincide with national aging (Dranov 36). The natural, gradual transition into menopause normally gives the woman an opportunity to gradually adjust for biological and emotional changes and to ease into the second part of her life. Surgical menopause or forced menopause is where ovaries are removed and causes immediate estrogen withdrawal. Once the ovaries are removed, the body stops producing estrogen and progesterone (Cutler 116-117). In that instance, your body is going through a rapid and confusing change. You start to feel irritable and weepy all of a sudden. You have a hard time sleeping through the night. And often, you wake from sleep drenched in sweat. We are lucky that doctors and scientist have found us a crutch to lean on during this unsettling time.

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