Menopause

Diet and age at menopause: Is there a connection?

According to a recent study, there may be a connection between diet and age at menopause. Foods like legumes and oily fish appeared to delay the start of menopause, while refined pasta and rice were associated with an earlier start.

FDA warning on vaginal laser procedures should emphasize informed choices, not fear

Hope Ricciotti, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch

The FDA warning about vaginal laser therapy failed to clearly distinguish between procedures that are done primarily for cosmetic reasons, and potentially beneficial treatments for women with genitourinary syndrome of menopause.

Starting an osteoporosis drug? Here’s what you need to know

Maneet Kaur, MD

Contributor

In its early stages, osteoporosis has no symptoms but causes millions of bone fractures every year, often resulting in loss of function and, disability and even death from the complications of the fracture. There are effective medications to prevent osteoporosis, but they can have serious (though rare) side effects. It’s best to talk discuss with your doctor to understand all your options and make an informed decision on how to best protect your bones.

Menopause-related hot flashes and night sweats can last for years

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

According to conventional medical wisdom, menopause-related hot flashes fade away after six to 24 months. Not so, says a new study of women going through menopause. Hot flashes and related night sweats last, on average, for about seven years and may go on for 11 years or more. The new estimates of the duration of these symptoms come from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a long-term study of women of different races and ethnicities who are in the menopausal transition. The “reality check” the SWAN study provides on hot flashes should encourage women to talk with a doctor about treatment options. These range from estrogen-based hormone therapy to other medications and self-help measures.