This review will discuss the concept of reproductive aging, which includes the definition of menopause, its symptoms, and predisposing conditions. It will elaborate upon the contributory factors implicated in the pathogenesis of menopause, focusing most prominently on oxidative stress. Specifically, this paper will explain how oxidative stress, in the form of free radicals and antioxidant deficiencies, has been directly linked to the decline of estrogen during reproductive aging. Additionally, this paper will elaborate upon the treatment options aimed at mitigating the menopausal symptoms and hormonal deficiencies that can lead to various disease processes. Treatment options such as hormonal therapy, antioxidant supplementation, and lifestyle modification have been explored for their effectiveness in treating and preventing the symptoms and sequelae of menopause. The majority of information in this review was obtained through PubMed and the National Library of Medicine. While most references in this paper are original research articles, a limited number of references are comprehensive reviews on the topic.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Vitamin A; Vitamin C; Vitamin E; cardiovascular disease; catalase; estrogen; hormonal therapy; hot flashes; malonaldehyde; menopause; osteoporosis; oxidative stress; phytoestrogens; reproductive aging; superoxide dismutase.