Long-term health consequences of premature or early menopause and considerations for management

S. S. Faubion, C. L. Kuhle, L. T. Shuster, W. A. Rocca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Aim To review the current evidence concerning the long-term harmful effects of premature or early menopause, and to discuss some of the clinical implications. Material and methods Narrative review of the literature. Results Women undergoing premature or early menopause, either following bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy or because of primary ovarian insufficiency, experience the early loss of estrogen and other ovarian hormones. The long-term consequences of premature or early menopause include adverse effects on cognition, mood, cardiovascular, bone, and sexual health, as well as an increased risk of early mortality. The use of hormone therapy has been shown to lessen some, although not all of these risks. Therefore, multiple medical societies recommend providing hormone therapy at least until the natural age of menopause. It is important to individualize hormone therapy for women with early estrogen deficiency, and higher dosages may be needed to approximate physiological concentrations found in premenopausal women. It is also important to address the psychological impact of early menopause and to review the options for fertility and the potential need for contraception, if the ovaries are intact. Conclusions Women who undergo premature or early menopause should receive individualized hormone therapy and counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Premature menopause
  • early menopause
  • estrogen
  • hormone therapy
  • oophorectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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