When menopause sets in, a womans monthly menstrual cycle draws to a close. Oestrogen production by the ovaries is drastically reduced. Eggs are no longer released for fertilisation and menstruation ceases. The first sign is usually irregularity of periods. Many women also have various other symptoms. The table below indicate some of the most common menopausal symptoms is based on Dutch and British surveys.
Most Common Symptoms of Menopause
||Percentage of Women
Physical Changes in Elderly Men
Very few men experience a sudden end to their reproductive potential comparable with that caused by the female menopause. At age 60, or thereabouts, however, the following changes to the male sex organs can be noticed.
- Hardening of blood vessels leading to the erection tissues in the penis. This makes it more difficult to obtain an erection.
- Sagging and wrinkling of the scrotal tissue.
- Shrinking and loss of firmness in the testes. Though the production of the hormone testosterone by the testes reduces, it usually remains sufficient for sexual activity to continue into extreme old age.
- Thickening and degeneration of the semiferuos tubules. This inhibits sperm production.
- Enlarging of the prostrate gland. This makes urination difficult or painful. Its contractions become weaker during the orgasm and hence the force of ejaculation is reduced.