Overview

Menopause

Menopause is a normal phase of a woman's life, one that more than 4,000 women enter each day. It is defined as the period in time when the ovaries cease functioning and menstrual periods stop. The production of hormones in a woman's body begins to decline, however, several years before the onset of menopause. You may also hear the term perimenopause or climacteric, which means the time from when menstrual periods start to diminish up to a year after the final menstrual period. In the United States the average age of menopause is 51.

In the past, menopause was often treated as an illness, a subject only talked about behind exam room doors. Today, women want to understand the physical changes that are happening to their bodies. They are seeking immediate relief for their menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness. They are also considering the impact of menopause on their risk of chronic disease and their long-term health.

Our Approach to Menopause

There is a lot of information available about menopause, but it can be confusing and difficult to interpret, especially with regard to hormone replacement therapy. UCSF offers consultations to address women's questions and help them manage any bothersome symptoms. Our goal is to provide all women with the best care possible as well as the knowledge they need to make informed decisions on their own health.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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