The Menopause Transition: 

Optimally Protecting
Emotional Health

Education and Resources for Primary Care Physicians


Menopause is a universal milestone in the life cycle of women and every woman’s experience of this phase of life is unique and influenced by a variety of factors. The transition from normal ovarian function to the near-complete loss of estrogen production comes with a range of psychological, endocrinological, and physical changes which occur over years.,2,3 Though some women go through the menopausal transition asymptomatic or with few symptoms, over 85% experience the effects of estrogen fluctuation and eventual deficiency – sweating, hot flashes, insomnia, discomfort, and vaginal dryness. These symptoms can range from mild to moderate discomfort to symptoms that are severe and disabling and are all influenced by psychological, ethnic, and socio-cultural factors.2,3

Menopause – the complete cessation of menses for 12 months – usually occurs at about 51 years of age though the age can range between 45 to 55 years.4 Based on increasing life expectancy, most women will live a good portion of their lives post-menopause.5 Yet many women have limited awareness of the potential implications of this transition and many primary care physicians struggle with how to manage this time in their patients’ lives.6

Learning Objectives

Participants who utilize the enduring education provided on this website will be able to:

  1. Recognize that in the clinical setting, women from different ethnic backgrounds will characterize menopause and its associated symptoms differently.
  2. Employ patient-focused, culturally relevant communication techniques when counseling patients regarding menopause and their menopausal symptoms.
  3. Utilize a patient-centered, shared-decision making approach in the evaluation and management of menopausal symptoms, including depression.
  4. Provide objective, up-to-date, evidence-based education regarding possible menopausal symptom treatment options along with an individualized management and follow-up plan

Register to Enroll

This program is provided FREE of charge.  We do ask that you register for this site and complete a simple evaluation at the end of each module.

If you wish to claim CME, you MUST be logged in.

Click the button below to register or log in to enroll in this program.

Note From the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee acknowledges that “…the majority of personal experiences with menopause relate to cisgender women (who were born female and identify as female). Transgender men and some people who identify as neither men nor women also experience menopause… [This monograph] refers to “women” in alignment with the available data, which does not routinely identify gender identity. There is a paucity of readily available data on trans and gender-diverse experiences of menopause. Trans and gender-diverse people have unique age-related health needs that clinicians should consider, including referral to specialist services when necessary.”

 -- World Health Organization

“Hot flashes" and "hot flushes" are often used interchangeably to refer to the experience of sudden, intense heat, often accompanied by sweating and a reddening of the skin. The choice between "hot flashes" and "hot flushes" largely depends on regional language preferences and local medical conventions. This monograph will use the term ‘hot flashes.”

Disclosures of Relevant Financial Relationships

In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support and with the policies of the AAFP, NJAFP policy requires that all persons that affect the content of these CME activities disclose financial relationships they or their significant others have with either the commercial supporter of this activity or with the manufacturers of any products they are referencing in this enduring material.

Expert Faculty

Gloria Bachmann, MD

Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences

Associate Dean of Women’s Health and Director, Women’s Health Institute

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, NJ

Jeffrey P. Levine, MD, MPH

Professor and Director of Reproductive & Gender Health Programs
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, NJ

Nancy A. Phillips, MD

Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services

Director, Center of Vulvovaginal Health

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, NJ