What Is Menopause?

Menopause refers to the time during which a woman's ovaries begin producing less estrogen and progesterone and cease the ripening and releasing of ova. The transition can last up to five years and typically occurs at mid-life. The hallmark of menopause is a woman's loss of menstrual cycle—rendering her unable to conceive for the remainder of her life. But a woman's body undergoes many additional changes that are both physical and psychological in nature, including hot flashes, night sweats, irregular heartbeat, headaches, and sleep difficulties. Menopause is also often accompanied by mood swings, irritability, depression, and anxiety, as well as cognitive symptoms like forgetfulness. Other symptoms of menopause may include urine leakage, vaginal dryness, infection, painful sexual intercourse, and joint aches or pains.

Recent posts on Menopause

Are Pet Owners Really at Greater Risk of Cancer?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on September 01, 2016 in Animals and Us
A new study used "big data" to examine the associations between pet-ownership and cancer rates and physical activity in older women. The results are surprising.
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Hot Flashes Forever? Maybe

What's the deal with hot flashes?

My 3-C Strategy for Menopause

Will I have hot flashes forever?

6 Myths About Pleasing a Woman in Bed

It’s difficult to please a woman if she doesn't reveal her pleasure secrets. Myths about what she turns her on and what turns her off create untold anxiety. Here's the truth:

Loving Your Body Through a Chronic Illness

Gratitude will change the way you see your body for the better

Chemotherapy: How to Get Through It

By Lucy O'Donnell on January 20, 2016 in Cancer Is a Teacher
Chemotherapy is gruesome, but there are ways to make it more tolerable. Forewarned is fore-armed.

When Is Depression Not Depression? Part 1

I have been talking with people lately who are suffering with symptoms they call depression, yet I am hearing something else. Something they don’t want to talk about mostly: loss and grief, discouragement and disappointment. These are all different from each other and different from depression.

Cancer Is My Teacher, Part 3

By Lucy O'Donnell on October 28, 2015 in Cancer Is a Teacher
Sometimes it can feel so surreal when you are coping with cancer and hard to deal with all the small things that when compounded have a profound effect on our everyday life. Here, through my experience, I tell of how I navigated through these feelings and situations. To this day, almost 4 years from diagnosis I still find myself in similar situations.

Hot Enough for You? Sweating at Night Undermines Sleep

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in Sleep Newzzz
Don’t suffer at night because of night sweats. This soggy, uncomfortable experience will interfere with how much sleep you get, and how well you sleep.

How to Completely Change How You Think About Menopause

If you are a woman anywhere near 50, you either just went through menopause or you are going to go through it within the next five years. How is that going to affect your sex life? And how will you respond chemically to new love affairs and breakups?

Hormonal Changes that Trigger Depression in Women

One in four women will experience an episode of depression at least once in their lives.

Does Hysterectomy Affect Women’s Sexuality?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on July 15, 2015 in All About Sex
Hysterectomy may enhance women's sexuality, have no impact on sex, or cause sexual impairment—and no one can predict which outcome women will experience.

Stories of Seclusion: After A Face Lift

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in How To Do Life
The weeks of seclusion after a face lift are scary and high-stakes.

The FDA, the DSM, Gender Equality, and “Female Viagra”

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Side Effects
Will the FDA succumb to lobbyists accusing it of gender bias?

The Good and Bad News for Post-Menopausal Women

By Rebecca Coffey on June 02, 2015 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
A four-year placebo-controlled study suggests that HRT doesn't slow cognitive decline. But there is good news for post-menopausal women who feel like they're "losing it."

Vitamania! 15 Vital Facts About the Vitamins We Love

By Meg Selig on April 07, 2015 in Changepower
Are you a "vitamaniac?" 15 vital facts about vitamins and supplements, plus 5 questions to ask yourself before you take a vitamin or other supplement.

Shaping Women's Lives: Our Bodies, Ourselves

By Gayle A. Sulik M.A., Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Pink Ribbon Blues
"Our Bodies, Ourselves" is listed in the Library of Congress "Books That Shaped America.” Since its original publication more than 40 years ago, the book set a foundation for evidence-based, culturally appropriate information on women’s health, sexuality, and reproduction. Co-author Judy Norsigian says, “Gatekeepers no longer have the control they had in the past.”

Improving Sex Drive

An unexpected new contributor?

Valerian for Sleep and Weaning Off Anxiety Medications

By Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc on March 05, 2015 in Inner Source
Which herb may be the best for sleep, and also help avoid withdrawal from anti-anxiety drugs?
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Intimacy in Bedroom Improves with Age

By Kimberly Key on February 27, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Sex with the wrong partner can have deleterious effects on your self-esteem. Learn the four keys to an awesome sex life.

Smoking and Weight: Those "Burnt-out Ends of Smoky Days"

By Sylvia R. Karasu M.D. on February 20, 2015 in The Gravity of Weight
The dangers of cigarette smoking are well-known, but many people continue to smoke because of the fear that they will gain weight after they stop. What do we know about the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on weight?
Does 'Popping a Pill' turn Normal into 'Abnormal'?

Does 'Popping a Pill' turn Normal into 'Abnormal'?

By Graham C.L. Davey Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Why We Worry
We must be wary about ‘medicalizing’ problems in daily living so that they become viewed as ‘abnormal’

Broken Heart Syndrome

Examining the physics of broken heart syndrome

Starting Antidepressants? About the Weight Gain

After the hectics of the holiday season and the reality of a New Year setting in, many become depressed and turn to a physician for help. Must the proposed cure cause a physical overexpansion?

The Pleasures and Perils of Fighting Among Ourselves

The Pleasures and Perils of Fighting Among Ourselves. A polarized group becomes less effective as its members become more certain. By Susan Kolod, Ph.D

Sleep, as We Get Older

By John Cline Ph.D. on December 29, 2014 in Sleepless in America
With advancing age there are changes in sleep pattern, sleep quantity and sleep quality. Sleep remains important for good health throughout our lives and understanding how these changes affect the sleep of older individuals can help people to maximize the quality and quantity of their sleep and thus their health.

Ask Your Doctor If You Should Take Advice from a Commercial

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on December 10, 2014 in Mental Wealth
Commercials about psychiatric drugs are now ubiquitous. Are they helpful or harmful?

Our First Birthday

By Sharon Praissman on November 15, 2014 in Beyond the Egg Timer
One year into blogging, Sharon reflects on what we have learned and our progress offering factual and helpful information to women over 35 who are trying to conceive. We also have a special announcement!

Beauty Matters Part 1: The Hardware of Sexual Attraction

By Eva Ritvo M.D. on November 04, 2014 in On Vitality
There is no escaping our ancient sexual hardwiring when it comes to our primal responses to archetypes of beauty. We are, however, completely able to update our software. But to successfully update our beauty software, we must further understand our beauty hardware.