Menopause and Postmenopause News

Menopause refers to the time when a woman’s menstrual period stops. Medically, a woman is said to have experienced menopause when no period has occurred for one year. Menopause occurs, on average, at age 51. The time leading up to menopause, when a woman may experience her period only occasionally, is known as perimenopause, and the time after menopause is called postmenopause.

Menopause is a normal part of life, but the changes that it brings can lead to a number of symptoms and complications in the postmenopausal years.

Symptoms of Menopause

Along with the end of menstrual periods, a number of other things can occur at the time of menopause. Changes in estrogen levels can lead to hot flashes, a hot feeling in the upper part of the body, as well as mood changes and feelings of dryness in the vagina. Women may also have trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

In the years that follow, the changes in estrogen levels can lead to other complications. Women may find that they're losing muscle or that their skin gets thinner. Urinary tract infections may become more frequent, and bladder function may decline. Osteoporosis, or weakened bones, becomes a greater risk, as does heart disease.


Though these changes can be frustrating, women can do a number of things to maintain their health in the menopausal and postmenopausal years: eating a healthy diet, not smoking, exercising regularly and talking to their doctor about vitamin supplements and medications. Although menopausal hormone therapy to replace some of the hormones lost during menopause can help with symptoms of menopause, it does pose risks, so women should have a conversation with their doctor about this option.

SOURCES: Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. National Institute on Aging

Date Posted
Article Title
Hormone Therapy May Be OK for Women With Migraines

Heightened risk of stroke not borne out in preliminary study

Talk Therapy May Help Menopause Woes

Sleep problems, depression eased in small study

Widening Waistlines May Raise Women's Cancer Risk

Belly fat after menopause may boost risk of lung, gastrointestinal cancers, researchers report

Could Hormone Supplements for Menopause Make a Comeback?

New study suggests the therapy won't increase risk of early death

Sleepless Nights Plague Many Women in Middle Age

Phases in and around menopause play a big role in insomnia, CDC study finds

Could an Estrogen Patch Boost Women's Sex Lives in Menopause?

Study suggests that, given this way, short-term use of the hormone may help those who report symptoms

Women at Risk for Alzheimer's Face Critical 10-Year Window, Study Says

If your genes predispose you to the illness, 65 to 75 may be high-risk years

Gum Disease May Be Linked to Cancer Risk in Older Women

Esophageal, breast and lung cancer, among others, seen in postmenopausal women in large study

Estrogen May Influence Women's Depression Risk

Early menstruation, more frequent periods seem to make sad times less likely, researchers suggest

Early Menopause May Be Tied to Type 2 Diabetes

When periods stop before 40, risk is 4 times greater compared to late menopause, study suggests

Many Women Mistaken on 'Side Effects' of Breast Cancer Drug

Study shows that normal symptoms of menopause are often blamed on tamoxifen

Health Tip: Exercise During Menopause

It helps combat these common problems

Excess Alcohol May Speed Muscle Loss in Older Women

After menopause, frequent drinkers had four times the risk of sarcopenia, study found

Obese Women May Have More Intense Hot Flashes

Body fat might trap heat inside the body, researchers say

Hormone Therapy Not Advised for Preventing Disease After Menopause

Benefits of treatment don't outweigh the risks, U.S. task force reiterates

Timing of Menopause May Affect Heart Failure Risk

Women whose periods end early and those who never give birth seem at added risk, research suggests

Hormone Replacement Therapy Tied to Hearing Loss

Older age at menopause also appeared to increase the risk, study found

Early Onset Hot Flashes May Signal Higher Heart Risks

Study found link between menopausal symptoms in younger women and reduced blood vessel function

Trauma as a Teen May Boost Depression Risk Around Menopause

Likelihood was more than twice as high, study reports

Post-Menopausal? Give Exercise a Try

Study participants were fitter, felt better -- and were less bothered by hot flashes

HRT Won't Lower Women's Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds

There was some hint that long-term hormone therapy might have a benefit, but results weren't definitive

Better Sleep Could Mean Better Sex for Older Women

Study found links between too little shuteye and less sexual satisfaction, especially around menopause

Fat Near the Heart a Hazard for Postmenopausal Women

Study ties 'paracardial' fat to raised risk of hardening of the arteries

Premature or Early Menopause More Likely in Women Without Kids: Study

Odds also greater if monthly periods started at 11 or younger, researchers say

Another Menopause Side Effect: Shortness of Breath?

New research suggests lung function can decline significantly

Intrarosa Approved for Post-Menopausal Pain During Sex

Drug contained in a once-daily insert

Menopause Before 40? Risk of Broken Bones May Be Higher

And traditional preventive treatments don't erase added danger, new study suggests

Memory Can Fade After Menopause

But women still outperform men, researchers report

Menopause and a Decline in Intimacy

Researchers identify timing, but it can vary by race and ethnicity

Researchers Identify Genes Linked to Hot Flashes

Mutations found in women of all races, ethnicities

More Evidence Menopause 'Brain Fog' Is Real

Study found memory skills tend to drop as estrogen levels dip, at ages 45 to 55

Fitful Sleep May Take Toll on Older Women's Hearts

Before and after menopause, less sleep linked to plaque buildup in blood vessels, study found

Hot Flashes, Mood Woes?

Study found women who believed they had frequent episodes at night more likely to be mildly depressed

Early Menopause Linked to Higher Heart Disease, Death Risks

Findings highlight need for certain women to discuss hormone therapy with their doctor, researchers say