Menopause and Mental Health


By Ashley Barnes, M.S. Menopause Menopause describes the point in time where changes in a woman’s hormones lead to the end of menstrual cycles. It usually is diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly (2021). Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that “many healthcare providers actually use the term menopause to refer to the period of time when a woman’s hormone levels start to change. Menopause is said to be complete when menstrual periods have ceased for one continuous year. The transition phase before menopause is often referred …

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