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Postmenopause is the time after a woman's menstrual periods have ceased for 12 consecutive months. Women may have some questions about what to expect during this time in their lives, and this site seeks to provide answers.

Keep reading to discover more about the difference between postmenopause and menopause, the hormones involved, the symptoms, and how to treat them.

About Postmenopause

Postmenopause is defined as the time after the menopause transition has been completed. Technically, a woman is postmenopausal from the day menopause occurs until the end of her life.

Postmenopause vs. menopause

Doctors define menopause as the day when a woman has not menstruated for 12 consecutive months. After this point, a woman is postmenopausal. In the years just before menopause, a woman is considered to be perimenopausal.

Average age of postmenopause

Of course, all women experience these natural changes differently, so there is a wide age range at which women first become postmenopausal. Natural postmenopause (as opposed to induced menopause) usually occurs sometime between a woman's late 40s and early 60s, with the average postmenopausal age being 51 years old.

One of the most important tests for postmenopausal women to take is a bone density screening test, which helps determine the levels of calcium in bones. In this way, women can take timely action to prevent osteoporosis, a condition related to postmenopause.

Click on the following link to read more about postmenopause, or keep reading to learn about the causes of postmenopause.

Is it Possible to Have Periods during Postmenopause?

While periods can occur as women enter the menopausal transition (e.g., perimenopause), experiencing a period over 12 months after the previous one is not possible during postmenopause. Causes for postmenopausal bleeding are often benign.

Are Ovarian Cysts Common in Postmenopause?

Most women get an ovarian cyst at some point, but usually they are symptomless and subside without treatment. However, ovarian cysts can cause pain, and in a small number of cases they are cancerous, so seeing a doctor is important if you have symptoms that coincide with ovarian cysts.

Postmenopause Causes

Postmenopause is caused by the same hormonal changes that drive the whole menopause transition. This is a natural process that all women go through. The causes can be categorized by internal and external factors, as shown below.

  • Causes of Postmenopause

    Internal factors. Fluctuations in hormones like estrogen and progesterone are at the foundation of postmenopause and usually occur naturally.

  • External factors. These are less common but can cause hormonal changes that lead to postmenopause, too. The main ones are related to lifestyle habits, stress, surgery, and radiation or chemotherapy.

The hormonal changes that cause postmenopause are complex and can be more than a bit confusing. Click on the following link to learn more about the causes of postmenopause, or continue reading to discover the symptoms of postmenopause.

Does Postmenopausal Obesity Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?

Women who are going through menopause, and those who have already entered postmenopause, are at a higher risk for breast cancer. Studies also show that being overweight or obese further increases the risk.

Does Risk of Ovarian Cancer Increase during Postmenopause?

Menopause is a transitional life stage that can come with many problematic symptoms and conditions. One risk women of this age can become exposed to is ovarian cancer.

Postmenopause Symptoms

Often, women think that all the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause disappear once postmenopause begins. This, however, is not always the case. The symptoms some women experience during their postmenopausal years can be very similar to those they have already had during perimenopause.

Postmenopause symptoms include:

Some symptoms continue during postmenopause
  • Vaginal dryness and itching
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Weight gain
  • Stress incontinence
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Insomnia

Other uncommon symptoms that normally disappear in the first years of postmenonpause are vaginal bleeding and hot flashes.

In combination with the symptoms mentioned above, postmenopausal women should be aware of the heightened risk of developing osteoporosis and high blood pressure once they enter postmenopause.

Please click on the following link to learn more about all the postmenopause symptoms, or continue reading to learn about different treatments for the symptoms.

Menopause Symptoms in Postmenopause

We hate to be the bearer of bad news but menopausal symptoms are more like that lingering house guest than you'd have hoped. Check out the article to discover why menopause symptoms continue and which health issues may occur during postmenopause.

3 Lifestyle Tips for Postmenopausal Women

Now you've made it through the turbulent menopause transition you should begin to notice a reduction in symptoms. However, in order to lessen your risk of contracting diseases associated with postmenopause it is important that you remain healthy and active.

Postmenopause Treatments

Treatment for postmenopause symptoms can vary, and there are three distinct levels of treatment intensity. These are as follows:

Lifestyle changes

These can include adjustments such as reducing stress, exercising more frequently, and eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and other essential nutrients.

Alternative treatments

Acupuncture is a good alternative for postmenopausal women

Ranging from acupuncture and massage to more common herbal remedies, many women find that combining these with lifestyle changes can have a significantly positive impact on their symptoms and well-being.

Prescription medications

This is the most common form of treatment in the United States and usually involves some form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Though HRT has been effective at relieving symptoms, it also carries a number of serious risks and side effects.

Women might need to experiment with their treatments before finding one that works for their symptoms and lifestyle, but many women find that a combination of lifestyle changes and alternative medicine provides results. Click on the following link to learn more about the different treatments for postmenopause.

Does Postmenopause Have Different Symptoms Than Menopause?

Post menopause has a variety of symptoms including osteoporosis, vitamin deficiencies, and many others. Risks for these increase after menopause, which before menopause symptoms often have more to do with fluctuating hormones.

Herbal Medicine during Postmenopause

During postmenopause, women's hormones are lower than ever before. This can present a number of uncomfortable symptoms. In order to treat postmenopausal symptoms, women should try natural herbal remedies. These can help balance hormones and relieve menopausal discomfort.

  • Love, S. (2003). Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. (2015). Menopause. Retrieved April 1, 2016, from

General articles

Updated on Nov 05, 2013
Identifying Postmenopause
Menopausal life can be very difficult to transition into. After going through a series of changes, it can be challenging to figure out what's next. However, for many women postmenopause is an easier transition than menopause was. Learn how to identify the different symptoms and risk factors associated with postmenopause.
Updated on Oct 30, 2013
When Should I Consult My Doctor during Postmenopause?
Postmenopause is the final stage of a woman's reproductive life, occurring after she has officially gone 12 months without a period. Because estrogen levels are still low, women may experience menopause symptoms for a while into postmenopause. If these are severe or periods begin again, women should seek medical attention.
Updated on Mar 20, 2013
How Do Hormone Levels Change in Postmenopause?
Postmenopause is usually the time when a woman's body adjusts to the decline in hormone levels that happen during menopause. Menopause symptoms usually subside during postmenopause, but women are at a higher risk for conditions like osteoporosis during this time. Click here to learn more.
Updated on Mar 20, 2013
Postmenopause Q&A
You may know a lot about menopause, but what about after? The postmenopause stage makes up a good portion of a woman's life, and is quite different from perimenopause. Some symptoms disappear, while others linger. To learn more about postmenopause, please click on this link
Updated on Mar 20, 2013
3 Ways to Prevent Cancer during Postmenopause
While postmenopause can mean relief for many different symptoms associated with menopause, postmenopause can increase the risk of certain diseases, including cancer. Find out some of the recommended ways you can lower your risk for certain types of cancers, which include giving up smoking, avoiding pollution, and exercising.