The three stages most commonly associated with menopause are perimenopause (before menopause), menopause and postmenopause (after menopause).

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Stages Umbrella include?

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

  • Menopause
  • Perimenopause
  • Postmenopause

Three Stages

What are the three stages most commonly associated with menopause?

DotS the three stages commonly associated with menopause are:

  • Perimenopause (before Menopause)
  • Menopause
  • Postmenopause (after Menopause)

PerimenopauseMenopause Stages

What is perimenopause?

DotS the definition of perimenopause may vary. The International Menopause Society’s (IMS) definition is:

“Perimenopause – the time before; around and just after the actual moment of menopause”.1

In The 2023 Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing Menopause: Definitions, published online 30 October 2023, the definition of perimenopause is:

  • “Perimenopause is the time from the onset of cycle irregularity through until 12 months after the final menstrual period”.2

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

“The perimenopause is the time period preceding the menopause to one year after the menopause, and is characterised by hormonal fluctuation, anovulatory cycles and onset of cycle irregularity and symptoms. The menopause transition is the time period leading up to the final menstrual period. Hallmarks of the perimenopause are changes in a woman’s menstrual periods such as, irregular periods or changes in flow. Cycles can be shorter or longer in length. Symptoms may also include hot flushes and night sweats, aches and pains, fatigue or irritability, as well as premenstrual symptoms such as sore breasts”.3

Menopause StagesMenopause

What is menopause?

DotS the definition of menopause may vary. The World Health Organization’s definition is:

“Natural menopause is deemed to have occurred after 12 consecutive months without menstruation for which there is no other obvious physiological or pathological cause and in the absence of clinical intervention”.4

The IMS’s definition is:

“Menopause – the last day of a woman’s last period ever”.5

The NAM’s 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)”.6

The AMS’s definition is:

“The term “menopause” refers to the final menstrual period”.7

Menopause StagesPostmenopause

What is postmenopause?

DotS the definition of postmenopause may vary. The IMS’s definition is:

“Postmenopause – the stage after the final menstrual period”.8

The NAMS’s definition is:

Postmenopause includes all the years beyond menopause”.9

In The 2023 Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing Menopause: Definitions, published online 30 October 2023, the definition of postmenopause is:

  • “Postmenopause starts 12 months after the final menstrual period”.10

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with my stage of menopause?

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

On page one in the Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause, first published online 10 June 2022, the recommendations include:

  • “All women should be able to access advice on how they can optimise their menopause transition and the years beyond. There should be an individualised approach in assessing women experiencing the menopause, with particular reference to lifestyle advice, diet modification as well as discussion of the role of interventions including HRT
  • Women should be advised that implementing or maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve menopause symptoms. A healthy diet (one low in saturated fat and salt and rich in calcium and vitamin D), stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and including regular exercise can be beneficial. Reducing caffeine intake may also improve symptoms
  • Alternative therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy, may also improve hot flushes, nights sweats and other menopausal symptoms and can be considered in women who do not wish to take HRT or have contraindications to taking HR
  • The decision whether to take HRT, the dose and duration of its use should be made on an individualised basis after discussing the benefits and risks with each patient…”.11

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Menopause Terminology: Glossary of Terms – Perimenopause. 2022:4. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/education/menopause-terminology/ Accessed: 24 November 2023
  2. Davis, S. R., Taylor, S., Hemachandra, C., Magraith, K., Ebeling, P. R., Jane, F., and Islam, R. M. The 2023 Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing Menopause: Definitions. Published Online: 30 October 2023 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13697137.2023.2258783 Accessed: 24 November 2023
  3. What Is Menopause? What Is Peri-Menopause (the Menopausal Transition)? Content Created May 2022. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/185-what-is-menopause Accessed: 24 November 2023
  4. Menopause: How Menopause Occurs. 17 October 2022. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/menopause Accessed: 24 November 2023
  5. Menopause Terminology: Glossary of Terms – Menopause. 2022:4. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/education/menopause-terminology/ Accessed: 24 November 2023
  6. 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: 24 November 2023
  7. What Is Menopause? Key Points. Content Created May 2022. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/185-what-is-menopause Accessed: 24 November 2023
  8. Menopause Terminology: Glossary of Terms – Postmenopause. 2022:4. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/education/menopause-terminology/ Accessed: 24 November 2023
  9. Menopause FAQs: An Introduction To Menopause – Q. What Is Postmenopause? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-an-introduction-to-menopause Accessed: 24 November 2023
  10. Davis, S. R., Taylor, S., Hemachandra, C., Magraith, K., Ebeling, P. R., Jane, F., and Islam, R. M. The 2023 Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing Menopause: Definitions. Published Online: 30 October 2023 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13697137.2023.2258783 Accessed: 24 November 2023
  11. Hamoda, H., Mukherjee, A., Morris, E., Baldeweg, S. E., Jayasena, C. N., Briggs, P., Moger, S. Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause. First Published Online 10 June 2022:3-4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20533691221104879 Accessed: 24 November 2023
Topic Last Updated: 24 November 2023 – Topic Last Reviewed: 24 November 2023

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