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Menopause Is Different for Women of Color

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Menopause Is Different for Women of Color

Black and Latina women enter menopause earlier and experience more severe symptoms


5 min read
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Menopause is a perfectly natural process, but symptoms vary greatly between white women and women of color.

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  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples


Menopause is a perfectly natural process, but its symptoms vary greatly from woman to woman. Your grandmother may have suffered in silence, not wanting to trouble you with her distressing symptoms, or maybe her symptoms weren’t that bad. Data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation reveal that prolonged and severe menopause symptoms correlate with race. In this eye-opening article on, Adriana Velez, health writer and menopause educator, explores the possible reasons behind this correlation.


Women experience a wide variation in menopause symptoms.

Doctors consider a woman to have reached menopause after she goes for 12 consecutive months without having her menstrual period. Perimenopause symptoms can persist for many years, though. American women reach menopause at a median age of 51 years. For some women, menopause is a relatively painless process. For others, it’s stressful and arduous.

Some women experience hot flashes for a month or so, then menstruation stops altogether. Other women experience much more-severe and prolonged symptoms. When their periods disappear, night sweats, insomnia, depression and other distressing symptoms take their place. For these women, hot flashes might continue for 7+ years, ...

About the Author

Adriana Velez is a certified health coach, menopause educator and writer covering food and health. Her writing has appeared in Elemental, Gen, Lifehacker and Prevention.

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