Menopause is a normal reproductive transition that most women experience during midlife. It is commonly known as the change of life, and this colloquial nickname denotes the significance that clinical researchers, providers, and women themselves often attach to this life-course transition for women. According to clinical research and medical diagnosis guidelines, menopause is defined by the lack of menstruation for 12 consecutive months. One of the most complex health-care decisions facing women during this life-course transition is whether to use menopausal hormone therapy, formerly known as hormone replacement therapy. This entry explores the life-altering changes menopause brings, explains the history and contemporary use of menopausal hormone therapy, and provides an overview of the effects of such therapy.

Perimenopause refers to the period leading up to actual ...

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