for you

Woman on phone

Resources for you

Frequently asked questions

Even though every woman has her own unique experience with the phases of menopause, many women have the same questions. Here’s a series of questions that you can use to help find the information you need.

    A. The signs and symptoms related to menopause vary greatly. For some women, symptoms are few and mild. For others, symptoms such as hot flashes can be severe and have a negative impact on quality of life and sexual function. 

    A. Perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause:

    • Perimenopause
      The amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries starts to vary and menstrual cycles become irregular 
    • Menopause
      Typically defined as a time in a woman’s life when she does not have a menstrual period for 12 months in a row 
    • Postmenopause
      Any time after a woman goes through menopause 

    A. 80% of postmenopausal women report moderate to severe hot flashes. 

    A. While studies show that hot flashes usually begin 2 years before menopause and peak 1 year after periods end, they can take up to 10 years to disappear completely. 29% of 60-year-old women experience persistent hot flashes.

    A. It’s important to be aware of the other health risks associated with menopause. As women transition to menopause, their estrogen levels naturally decline. Estrogen, which is produced in a woman’s ovaries, is known to support the strength of your bones. When levels of estrogen drop significantly in the natural process of menopause, that strength and protection may also decrease. 

    A. Medical studies have shown that hormone therapy is an effective way to treat menopausal hot flashes. Other medications are also sometimes used to relieve menopause-related hot flashes.

    A. One in every 2 women will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.

    A. Medical studies have shown that when benefits outweigh risks, hormonal treatments:

    • Can prevent bone loss for women who begin taking them during menopause  
    • Can increase BMD—a measure of bone strength—in women who are well into their menopausal years 

    Several other medications work by changing the way your bones break down and rebuild themselves. Your doctor can help you weigh treatment options and make the best choice for you. 

    A. No matter what age you are, you can protect your bones by eating well, staying active, and avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco products. 

    Guide to discussing menopause with your doctor

    This guide is intended to help you gather and organize important information your doctor may need to assess your symptoms and properly diagnose and treat your menopause symptoms. 

    List all medications you currently take.

    List all vitamins and supplements you currently take.

    Hot flashes

    • Approximate start date
    • Frequency per day and/or per week
    • Most common time of day they occur 
    • How long they usually last
    • Intensity of a typical hot flash on a scale of 1 to 10 (1=barely noticeable, minor discomfort; 10=extreme discomfort, may need to change clothes due to excessive sweating)
    • Number of nights each week your sleep is interrupted by hot flashes 

    Bone strength

    • Date of your last BMD scan. It might be called a DEXA scan (try to bring a copy of your results if your current doctor does not have them)
    • List the approximate date and location of any bone fractures you have had since perimenopause began
    • What was your height at age 20 years? What is your current height?

    Have any hormone-dependent cancers affected you or your blood relatives (eg, breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer)? 

    Have any cardiovascular diseases affected you or your blood relatives (eg, blood clots, high blood pressure, other)?