“The research in SWAN shows that Black women reach menopause at 49, two years earlier than the national median age”.1

Umbrella
What may the Black Women’s Menopause Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Change of Life
  • Early Menopause
  • Going Through the Menopause
  • Induced Menopause
  • Menopausal/Menopause Transition
  • Menopause
  • Natural Menopause
  • Perimenopause
  • Perimenopause, Menopause and Postmenopause
  • Postmenopause
  • Premature Menopause
  • Second Half of Your Life
  • Surgical Menopause
  • The Change
  • The Change of Life
  • The Menopause Years
  • The Menopause-Related Years
  • The Three Stages of Menopause
  • Turning St Catherine’s Corner

Definition

What is menopause?

DotS the definition of menopause may vary. The North American Menopause Society’s (NAMS) definition is:

“Menopause is a normal, natural event—defined as the final menstrual period and usually confirmed when a woman has missed her periods for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes)”.2

The Australasian Menopause Society’s (AMS) definition is:

“The term “menopause” refers to the final menstrual period”.3

The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health’s (JH) definition is:

“Menopause is the final menstrual period. Sometimes you only know you have had your final menstrual period if you have had no period for 12 months, as periods can occur very irregularly leading up to menopause and can happen months apart”.4

The (United States) Mayo Clinic’s definition is:

“Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period”.5

Menopause Age

Is there an association between Black women and menopause age?

In Menopause Is Different for Women of Color the author elaborates on:

Black Women’s Menopause

“In the US, the median age for reaching menopause (the point at which a person has gone for 12 consecutive months without a period) is 51. The research in SWAN shows that Black women reach menopause at 49, two years earlier than the national median age”.6

Vasomotor Symptoms

Is there an association between Black women and vasomotor symptoms defined as hot flashes and night sweats?

In The Menopause Transition and Women’s Health At Midlife: A Progress Report From the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN): Symptoms and Mental Health – Vasomotor Symptoms: Box 2 – Take-Home Messages: Symptoms and Mental Health the authors include:

Vasomotor Symptoms

  • Black women have the highest prevalence, longest duration, and are most bothered by their vasomotor symptoms, whereas Asian women have the lowest vasomotor symptoms prevalence”.7

Black Women National Health Policy Agenda 2020-2021On page 22 Black Women Vote: National Health Policy Agenda 2020 – 2021: E. Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice – Menopause the BWHI elaborate on:

“After menopause, for example, one of the most common discomforts is hot flashes, characterized by sudden feelings of warmth that spread over the upper body, often with blushing and sweating. Even there, the differences are stark. White women experience hot flashes for around 6.5 years after their final period, while for Latinas it’s 8.9 years, and for Black women it’s 10 years”.8

Same or Not

Do all women experience the same menopause?

No. Menopause is not one-size-fits-all. Although all women have a FMP, different women experience different symptoms, at different times, in different ways, for different lengths of time, before and after their FMP.

In Menopause: Diagnosis and Management – Information for the Public: Menopause – Symptoms the (British) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guideline, the NICE elaborate on:

“Menopause affects every woman differently. You may have no symptoms at all, or they might be brief and short lived. For some women they are severe and distressing.

You can still get menopause symptoms if you have had a hysterectomy (an operation to remove your womb).

Other natural changes as you age can be intensified by menopause. For example, you may lose some muscle strength and have a higher risk of conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease”.9

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

What is one of the points of consensus about menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)?

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT – endorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016, is:

  • “Consideration of MHT for symptom relief or osteoporosis prevention should be a part of an overall strategy including lifestyle recommendations regarding diet, exercise, smoking cessation and safe levels of alcohol consumption for maintaining the health and quality of life of peri- and postmenopausal women”.10

Perimenopause

How may Black women transition through perimenopause?

In Menopause Is Different for Women of Color: What Does This Mean for Women of Color? the author explains:

“You may be experiencing perimenopause symptoms sooner than you expected to. Now is a good time to find a gynecologist who specializes in menopause who can help you through this transition. For many women, perimenopause is a critical opportunity to make some lifestyle changes to support your health through the latter half of your life. It’s time to start putting yourself first, so you can serve as the elder your community needs”.11

Health Care ProviderBlack Women’s Menopause

What if I would like help with my menopause?

If you would like help with your menopause, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In About Menopause: When To See Your Doctor the JH explain:

  • “If you are troubled by irregular cycles
  • If you are worried about heavy bleeding/bleeding abnormal to you/bleeding between periods and/or after sex
  • If you have increased PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms and/or pain
  • If you have some of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, that interfere with your daily life”.12

The Mayo Clinic encourage us to seek help:

“Before deciding on any form of treatment, talk with your doctor about your options and the risks and benefits involved with each. Review your options yearly, as your needs and treatment options may change”.13

In Menopause: When To See Your GP the (United Kingdom) NHS elaborate on:

“It’s worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age”.14

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Black Women’s Menopause?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Black Women’s Menopause?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Velez, A. Menopause Is Different for Women of Color. 10 March 2021. https://www.endocrineweb.com/menopause-different-women-color Accessed: 22 June 2021
  2. Menopause FAQs: An Introduction To Menopause – Q. What is menopause? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-an-introduction-to-menopause Accessed: 22 June 2021
  3. What Is Menopause? Key Points. Content Updated February 2016. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/185-what-is-menopause Accessed: 22 June 2021
  4. About Menopause: What Is Menopause? Last Updated: 23 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/about-menopause Accessed: 22 June 2021
  5. Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Overview. 14 October 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 Accessed: 22 June 2021
  6. Velez, A. Menopause Is Different for Women of Color. 10 March 2021. https://www.endocrineweb.com/menopause-different-women-color Accessed: 22 June 2021
  7. El Khoudary, S. R. et al. The Menopause Transition and Women’s Health At Midlife: A Progress Report From the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN): Symptoms and Mental Health – Vasomotor Symptoms: Box 2 – Take-Home Messages: Symptoms and Mental Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6784846/ Accessed: 22 June 2021
  8. Black Women Vote: National Health Policy Agenda 2020 – 2021: E. Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice – Menopause, 2020:22. Black Women’s Health Initiative https://3hqwxl1mqiah5r73r2q7zll1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/BWHI_NHPA_2020-21.pdf Accessed: 22 June 2021
  9. Menopause: Diagnosis and Management – Information for the Public: Menopause – Symptoms. Published Date: 12 November 2015. Last Updated: 05 December 2019. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23/ifp/chapter/Menopause Accessed: 22 June 2021
  10. De Villiers, T. J., Hall, J. E., Pinkerton, J. V., Pérez, S. C., Rees, M., Yang, C. and Pierroz, D. D. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/global-consensus-hrt-2016-06.pdf Accessed: 22 June 2021
  11. Velez, A. Menopause Is Different for Women of Color. 10 March 2021. https://www.endocrineweb.com/menopause-different-women-color Accessed: 22 June 2021
  12. About Menopause: When To Visit Your Doctor. Last Updated: 23 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/about-menopause Accessed:  22 June 2021
  13. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment. 14 October 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 22 June 2021
  14. Menopause: Overview – When To See Your GP. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/#when-to-see-your-gp Accessed: 22 June 2021

Last Updated: 04 August 2021 – Last Revised: 22 June 2021
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