What Causes Menopause Belly?

Reviewed on 3/2/2021

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is the point in life when a woman stops ovulating (the ovaries stop producing eggs), menstrual periods end, and she is no longer able to become pregnant. During this time, body fat often settles around the midsection, which is called “menopause belly.”
Menopause is the point in life when a woman stops ovulating (the ovaries stop producing eggs), menstrual periods end, and she is no longer able to become pregnant. During this time, body fat often settles around the midsection, which is called “menopause belly.”

Menopause is a natural occurrence in a woman's life when a woman stops ovulating (the ovaries stop producing eggs), menstrual periods end, and a woman is no longer able to become pregnant

Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 55 years, with an average age of 51 years.

  • Perimenopause is the transitional period of several years that comes before menopause in which women often begin to experience menopausal symptoms. 
  • When your period ends, and it has been 12 months since the last period, this is considered menopause. 
  • Post-menopause is the time after menopause.  

What Are Symptoms of Menopause?

Some women have few or no menopausal symptoms, and other women have symptoms that interfere with their life. 

Symptoms of menopause include:

What Is Menopause Belly?

When women go through menopause, body fat often shifts and settles around the midsection. This is often referred to as “menopause belly.” This is caused by the decrease in the production of estrogen. 

These hormonal changes can also contribute to overall body weight gain. 

What Causes Menopause?

Menopause is a normal part of aging in women and occurs as a result of a natural decline in the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone

Once a woman has not had any periods for 12 full months, menopause has been reached. 

Menopause may also be caused by:

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How Is Menopause Diagnosed?

Menopause is diagnosed when a woman has not had any menstrual periods for 12 months.

What Is the Treatment for Menopause?

Some women have no symptoms of menopause or only mild symptoms and do not need treatment. 

Treatments to ease bothersome symptoms of menopause may include: 

  • Menopausal hormone therapy 
    • Estrogen for hot flashes
    • Hormone therapy to relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, including vaginal dryness, depression, and other mood problems
    • Vaginal estrogen for vaginal dryness
  • Antidepressants for depression
  • Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles for urinary incontinence 
  • Vaginal lubricants or other moisturizers for vaginal dryness and painful intercourse 
  • Lifestyle changes can help with menopause belly
    • Healthy, balanced diet
    • Increased fiber intake
    • Regular exercise
    • Stress-reduction techniques, including deep-breathing exercises and massage

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Reviewed on 3/2/2021
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/menopause-beyond-the-basics?search=Menopause&source=search_result&selectedTitle=3~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=3

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/early-menopause/

https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/five-solutions-for-menopause-symptoms

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/ob-gyn/ur-medicine-menopause-and-womens-health/menopause-blog/may-2015/what-does-estrogen-have-to-do-with-belly-fat.aspx