Mary Ellen Rousseau, CNM, MS; Sarabeth F. Gottlieb, CNM, MSN


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2004;49(6) 

In This Article


In recent years, medical experts have narrowed the definition of menopausal changes to those that are directly related to menopause and estrogen loss (e.g., hot flashes and vaginal dryness) and distinguish such changes from other physical symptoms associated with aging. Nonetheless, clinicians need to recognize and manage all symptoms that can be manifested during the menopause transition; some of these are accompanied by pain. Research is needed into the causes and treatment of pain that occurs during this transition and as women age. Studies need to include pre- and postmenopausal data points to establish an adequate baseline and change over time.[58] Men and women need to be compared to identify commonalities as well as differences. Cross-cultural differences in the constructs and definitions of both pain and menopause need to be considered. Just as depression or melancholy was thought to be associated with menopause since the 1800s,[59] the hypothesis that subjective responses to hormonally based events, including pain, may occur differently for some women and may not be unique to menopause must be considered.


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