Menopause Support Group

1. Introduction

The menopause is a natural process that all women go through. It is the time in a woman’s life when she stops having menstrual periods and is no longer able to have children. The average age for menopause is 51, but it can occur as early as age 40 or as late as age 60. For most women, the menopause is a time of physical and psychological Adjustment.

2. Defining Menopause

Menopause is defined as the cessation of menses for 12 consecutive months in a woman who has had regular periods and is not using any form of hormonal contraception (1). The average age of menopause onset in the United States is 51 years (2). Menopause can also be induced surgically (by bilateral oophorectomy) or medically (with gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues) (3). Natural menopause is a gradual process, with a variable onset and duration. Perimenopause, the transition period leading up to menopause, generally begins in a woman’s 40s. During this time, there are changes in hormone production and irregularity in menstrual cycles (4).

3. Effects of Menopause on Women

During the menopausal transition, declining estrogen levels can result in vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats), sleep disturbance, depressive mood, anxiety, and irritability (5-7). In addition, many women experience vaginal dryness, which can lead to sexually related pain or discomfort and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) (8). Moreover, declining estrogen levels are associated with an increased risk for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease (9-11). As a result of these possible health risks, regular checkups with a health care provider are recommended during and after the menopausal transition.

4. The Need for a Menopause Support Group

In view of the physical and psychological changes that many women experience during menopause, it is not surprising that some women seek support from others who are going through the same transition. A survey of 3381 Australian women aged 45-60 years found that 25% had sought information about menopause from friends or family members, 20% from books or magazines, 8% from general practitioners, and 6% from other health professionals (12). Furthermore, nearly one-third of the women surveyed reported experiencing at least one symptom that interfered with their daily activities, such as hot flashes, sleep disturbance, or depression. Given the prevalence of menopausal symptoms and their potential impact on quality of life, there is clearly a need for effective interventions to address these issues.

One promising intervention is participation in a menopause support group. Support groups have been shown to be beneficial for other transitions experienced by women, such as pregnancy and motherhood (13-15). In addition, previous research has found that participation in support groups can help reduce stress levels (16), promote positive coping strategies (17), and improve health-related outcomes (18). Participation in a support group can also provide opportunities for social support and peer discussion, which are important during times of transition (19-21).

5What the Menopause Support Group Would Offer
The proposed menopause support group would meet weekly for two hours over the course of eight weeks. The group would be limited to 10 participants to allow for a more intimate setting. Participants would be asked to commit to attending all eight sessions. The group would be facilitated by a health care provider with experience in managing menopausal symptoms.

Each session would begin with a check-in, during which participants would have an opportunity to briefly share any concerns or updates since the previous meeting. This would be followed by a discussion of a designated topic related to menopause (e.g., changes in body image, sexual function, or sleep patterns). The facilitator would provide information about the topic, as well as opportunities for group members to share their experiences and wisdom with each other. Finally, each session would end with a check-out, during which participants would identify one action item to work on between group meetings (e.g., starting a regular exercise routine or scheduling a gynecologic exam).

The topics covered in the group would be as follows:

Session 1: Introduction to the Menopause Support Group
Session 2: Changes in Hormone Levels during Menopause
Session 3: Physical Changes during Menopause
Session 4: Sexuality and Menopause
Session 5: Sleep Disturbances and Menopause
Session 6: Mood Changes and Menopause
Session 7: Nutrition and Menopause
Session 8: Exercise and Menopause

6. Who would be the facilitator

The facilitator for the menopause support group would ideally be a health care provider with experience in managing menopausal symptoms. This could be a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or certified nurse midwife. The facilitator should also have experience leading groups and be comfortable discussing sensitive topics like sexuality and mood changes.

7. Conclusion

The menopause is a natural process that all women go through. It is a time of physical and psychological adjustment. Many women seek support from others who are going through the same transition. Participation in a menopause support group can help reduce stress levels, promote positive coping strategies, and improve health-related outcomes.


The purpose of a menopause support group is to provide women with information and support during the menopause transition.

All women who are experiencing menopause symptoms would benefit from attending a menopause support group.

Topics that would be covered in a menopause support group include: managing hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings; dealing with changes in sexual function; coping with weight gain; and managing stress.

A menopause support group would typically meet once a month for two hours.

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