Also called: Change of life

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

Symptoms of Menopause

The following features are indicative of Menopause:
  • irregular periods
  • vaginal dryness
  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • sleep problems
  • mood changes
  • weight gain
  • slowed metabolism
  • thinning hair
  • dry skin
  • loss of breast fullness

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Common Causes of Menopause

The following are the most common causes of Menopause:
  • natural decline of reproductive hormones
  • hysterectomy
  • chemotherapy treatment
  • radiation therapy treatment
  • primary ovarian insufficiency

Risk Factors for Menopause

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Menopause:
  • heavy smoking
  • family history
  • cancer treatment
  • hysterectomy

Prevention of Menopause

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Menopause. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do not smoke
  • get regular exercise
  • control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • intake of sufficient calcium
  • intake of sufficient vitamin D

Occurrence of Menopause

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Menopause cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Menopause most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Menopause most commonly occurs in the following gender:
  • Female

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Menopause

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Menopause:
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen (estradiol) level tests: To evaluate the hormone levels
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): To check the underactive thyroid

Doctor for Diagnosis of Menopause

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Menopause:
  • Gynecologist

Complications of Menopause if untreated

Yes, Menopause causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Menopause is left untreated:
  • heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
  • osteoporosis
  • urinary incontinence
  • loss of libido
  • weight gain

Procedures for Treatment of Menopause

The following procedures are used to treat Menopause:
  • Hormone replacement therapy: To relieve menopausal hot flashes

Self-care for Menopause

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Menopause:
  • Take balanced diet: Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Avoid smoking: Helps decreasing hot flashes and earlier menopause
  • Regular exercise: Get regular physical activity to help protect against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with aging
  • Take proper sleep: By avoiding caffeine, drinking too much alcohol which can interrupt sleep

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Menopause

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Menopause:
  • Acupuncture: Helps reducing hot flashes
  • Do yoga: Helps in decreasing the number of hot flashes in perimenopausal women
  • Intake black cohosh supplements: Helps in reducing menopausal symptoms
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, paced breathing, guided imagery, massage and progressive muscle relaxation can help relieve menopausal symptoms

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Menopause.
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