Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science

Menopause

Menopause is defined as not having a menstrual period for one year. You might begin having menopause symptoms (perimenopause) much earlier, which can affect your emotional and physical well-being.

Every woman is different and will experience menopause in different ways. Some women have no symptoms while others may have abnormal bleeding, debilitating hot flashes, or sexual dysfunction. All Mount Sinai menopause providers are North American Menopause Society-certified. We take a team approach to developing a treatment plan to meet your individual needs. We will work with you to:

  • Create a plan to manage your symptoms 
  • Offer information about normal physiologic changes
  • Provide recommendations on screening for disease and reducing risk

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a normal event marking the end of egg production in the ovaries. When your body stops producing eggs, your estrogen level falls significantly, which can affect many of your bodily functions. The average age for the final menstrual period is 51.5 years. Early in the 20th century, most women only lived to be about 50 years old, so our extended menopausal and post-menopausal period is one of the benefits of our excellent health care, which dramatically increased our current life expectancy.

Diagnosis

To provide an accurate diagnosis, we start by taking a detailed medical history and discussing your symptoms. We may also perform or recommend additional testing, including blood tests. We do not perform saliva testing for hormone levels, as they tend to be unreliable and are not recommended. As part of the Mount Sinai Health System, we are able to consult with a wide variety of specialists for additional insights, if needed.

Conditions We Treat

We are happy to discuss your symptoms with you, to see if they are ‘normal’ and whether we can help improve your quality of life.  We treat a variety of menopause related conditions, including: 

  • Hot flashes (vasomotor symptoms)
  • Mood changes (depression, sadness, malaise)
  • Menopausal symptoms with a history of breast cancer 
  • Menopause caused by cancer treatment
  • Premature menopause
  • Post-menopausal bleeding
  • Sleep disturbances of menopause 
  • Surgical menopause 
  • Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse (genitourinary syndrome)

Treatment Options

Our physicians are very familiar with all currently available treatment options. We may recommend a variety of available approaches in your individualized treatment plan, such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • CO2 fractional laser therapy
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Medications, including hormone replacement therapy, mood stabilizers, and sleep assistants
  • Vaginal lubricants and vaginal estrogens
  • Vitamins/herbs/supplements
  • Yoga/massage/meditation

Clinical Trials and Research

Mount Sinai is researching why some women experience no hot flashes while others have hot flashes for more than 10 years. More specifically, why do African American women seem to have worse hot flashes than other women? We are looking into possible genetic components to menopause and are using DNA data from the SWAN Study, an ongoing multiracial longitudinal study of midlife women across the nation. The SWAN study is currently in its 15th year.