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Menopause

Also called: Change of life

Summary

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her period stops. It usually occurs naturally, most often after age 45. Menopause happens because the woman's ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for one year. Changes and symptoms can start several years earlier. They include:

  • A change in periods - shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, with more or less time in between
  • Hot flashes and/or night sweats
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble focusing
  • Less hair on head, more on face

Some symptoms require treatment. Talk to your doctor about how to best manage menopause. Make sure the doctor knows your medical history and your family medical history. This includes whether you are at risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, or breast cancer.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Start Here

  • About Menopause From the National Institutes of Health (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
  • Menopause (Food and Drug Administration)
  • Menopause (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • Menopause 101: A Primer for the Perimenopausal (North American Menopause Society)
  • What Is Menopause? From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)

Symptoms

  • What Are the Symptoms of Menopause? From the National Institutes of Health (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish

Diagnosis and Tests

Treatments and Therapies

  • 4 Things to Know about Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • Bioidentical Hormones: Are They Safer? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Black Cohosh From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy: MedlinePlus Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
  • Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • new Menopause and Hormones: Common Question (Food and Drug Administration)
  • Menopause Treatment (Endocrine Society)
  • Menopause: Medicines to Help You (Food and Drug Administration)
  • Soy From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • What Are the Treatments for Other Symptoms of Menopause? From the National Institutes of Health (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish

Living With

  • Fitness Tips for Menopause: Why Fitness Counts (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Preparing for Menopause: A Woman's Midlife Change From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish

Related Issues

  • Burning Mouth Syndrome From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) Also in Spanish
  • Menopause and Bone Loss (Endocrine Society)
  • Menopause and Heart Disease (American Heart Association)
  • Menopause and High Blood Pressure: What's the Connection? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Menopause Weight Gain: Stop the Middle Age Spread (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Sexual Health and Menopause (North American Menopause Society)
  • What You Should Know about Your Reproductive Time Span (North American Menopause Society) - PDF

Specifics

  • Early or Premature Menopause (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in Spanish
  • Menopause and You: Postmenopause (Endocrine Society)
  • Perimenopausal Bleeding and Bleeding after Menopause (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
  • Perimenopause (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish

Health Check Tools

  • Menopause Map (Endocrine Society)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Menopause (Endocrine Society)
  • What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Menopause? From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
  • What is Menopause From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish

Statistics and Research

  • Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices: What the Science Says From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Clinical Trials

  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Hot Flashes From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Menopause From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Premenopause From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

  • Article: Chronic cough in postmenopausal women and its associations to climacteric symptoms.
  • Article: 'Everything you need to embrace the change': The 'menopausal turn' in...
  • Article: Effect of menopausal hormone therapy on COVID-19 severe outcomes in women...
  • Menopause -- see more articles

Find an Expert

  • Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health Also in Spanish
  • Find an Endocrinologist (Endocrine Society)
  • National Institute on Aging From the National Institutes of Health Also in Spanish

Patient Handouts

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.

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