Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Take the Menopause Quiz First! Before reading this FAQ, challenge yourself and
Test your Knowledge!
Q:What is menopause?
A:The medical definition of menopause is not having a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.
Q:What is the average age of the onset of menopause?
A:Although the average age for the onset of menopause is 51, there is no way to determine when a particular woman will have menopause.
Q:What is the most characteristic symptom of menopause?
A:Symptoms of menopause vary among women. Some of the most common symptoms are hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings, but the extent to which women suffer from all of these is variable.
Q:What are health risks that are associated with menopause?
A:Health risks associated with menopause include an increased risk for heart disease (the #1 cause of death for U.S. women) and bone density loss (osteoporosis).
Q:What kinds of medications or dietary supplements should menopausal women take?
A:It depends on the woman, her symptoms, and her medical history.
Q:How is menopause diagnosed?
A:Hormone levels cannot precisely predict when menopause will occur, and these levels can vary greatly in an individual woman.
Q:What are proven alternative therapies for menopause symptoms?
A:There are no proven alternative remedies for menopause symptoms, although some small studies have suggested a benefit for certain preparations.
Q:What is perimenopause?
A:Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause.
Q:Which is NOT a usual symptom of menopause?
A:Though back pain is not a typical symptom of menopause, menopause may cause different kinds of symptoms.
Q:What is premature menopause?
A:Menopause that occurs before the age of 40 is known as premature menopause.
Q:Which factors can affect the timing of menopause?
A:Any time the ovaries are surgically removed (oophorectomy) in an ovulating woman, menopause will result immediately.
Q:Hot flashes can last from a few minutes to a few hours. True or False?
A:False. Hot flashes are usually very brief and last from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Q:Postmenopausal women can still bear children. True or False?
A:False. When menopause occurs, the function of the ovaries ceases.
Q:Osteoarthritis, vaginal atrophy, decreased estrogen, osteoarthritis. Which is LEAST likely to occur as a result of menopause?
A:Osteoarthritis is a disease of wear and tear on the joints and is not a usual manifestation of menopause.
Q:"Male menopause" is sometimes described as a condition referred to as low testosterone or low T. True or False?
A:True. Some doctors have referred to a decline in testosterone levels as "male menopause," although men do not go through a well-defined period of change as women do.
Q:Menopause increases a woman's risk for depression. True or False?
A:True. Changing hormone levels during menopause and midlife can increase the risk for depression in women.
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