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Menopause, Social Aspects of

Menopause (the last menstrual cycle), like menarche (the first menstrual cycle), is a normal, developmental transition that signals a change in physiological functioning and social status. Both menopause and menarche usher in a new stage of life; both close some doors and open others.

Menarche closes the door on childhood, which some girls regret. Yet most girls look forward with eagerness to find out what challenges and experiences adolescence and adulthood will bring. Menarche raises a girl's social status; she becomes more important and more interesting. Menopause closes the door on fertility; it means that women will no longer be able to become pregnant and bear children. Some women regret the lost opportunity to have a child (or another child), but others are relieved to see ...

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