Difference Between Menopause and Postmenopause

Menopause is the condition that starts 12 months after a woman experiences her last menstrual period. Pregnancy is the condition that starts when a woman is carrying an embryo or fetus.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural process in a woman's life that occurs when she stops menstruating. It is a normal part of aging that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. During menopause, a woman's body goes through several changes due to the decline in estrogen production. These changes can cause various symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sleep disturbances.

  • Symptoms and signs − Changes in hormone levels produce some marked symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, hot flushes, irritability, night sweats, and some atrophy of the vagina.

  • Diagnosis and causes − A doctor can determine that a woman has entered menopause by measuring hormone levels and noting decreasing levels of estrogen, progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and the antral follicle count is reduced. Antral follicles are the structures that contain the developing eggs in the ovary. This is associated with decreasing function of the ovaries due to natural aging or due to having had a hysterectomy with removal of the reproductive organs.

  • Treatment − For some women, hormone replacement therapy is a good option and it helps ease many of the symptoms associated with menopause. A doctor can prescribe estrogen and progesterone for women to replace the hormones that are diminishing in the body. Vaginal lubricants can be purchased to help with dryness.

What is Post-Menopause?

Post-menopause, on the other hand, is the period that comes after menopause. It refers to the time in a woman's life when she has not had a menstrual period for at least 12 consecutive months.

During post menopause, a woman's body continues to adjust to the absence of estrogen. This can lead to other changes in the body, such as increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and urinary incontinence.

  • Symptoms and signs − During post menopause there is generally a decrease in the severity of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Some symptoms, however, such as vaginal dryness may increase during the post menopause stage of a woman’s life.

  • Diagnosis and causes − A doctor can diagnose the post-menopause state in a woman based on the lack of menstruation for longer than a year, and taking into account the decreasing severity of menopausal symptoms. In addition, the antral follicle count is found to be very low and FSH levels are also very low. Post menopause is a natural consequence of aging and thus takes place in all women later in life.

  • Treatment − No treatment is usually needed although hormone replacement therapy may be needed if symptoms such as hot flushes are still problematic. It is advisable that women in post menopause do have bone density checks as the risk of osteoporosis is greatly increased during this time of life. To help prevent and treat osteoporosis, a woman may be prescribed a bisphosphonate medication such as Fosamax or Actonel.

Differences: Menopause and Post Menopause

The primary difference between menopause and post menopause is that menopause refers to the process of ending menstruation, while post menopause refers to the period after menstruation has ended. Menopause can last for several years, while post menopause can last for the rest of a woman's life. Women can experience different symptoms during each stage, and their healthcare needs may also differ.

During menopause, women may experience hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and decreased sex drive. These symptoms can be uncomfortable, but they are usually temporary and can be managed with lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques. Women may also benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which can help alleviate symptoms by increasing estrogen levels in the body.

In post menopause, women may experience different symptoms, such as vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and an increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. These symptoms can be managed with medication, lifestyle changes, and regular health screenings. Women should also maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption to reduce their risk of chronic health conditions.

The following table highlights the major differences between Menopause and Post Menopause −



Post Menopause


Menopause is the stage of a woman’s life when menstruation comes to an end.

Post menopause is the stage that occurs after menopause has ended.


The age at which menopause usually begins is between 45 and 50 years old.

The age at which post menopause begins is on average 55 years but it depends when menopause ends.


Estrogen, progesterone and FSH levels diminish and fluctuate in menopause.

The same hormones are at very low but stable levels in post menopause.

Antral follicle count

The antral follicle count in menopause is low.

It is very low in post menopause.


The uterus starts to shrink during menopause.

The uterus is very small by the time post menopause takes place.


The symptoms of menopause include vaginal dryness, hot flushes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, and irritability.

The symptoms of post menopause include increased vaginal atrophy and possibly a decrease in the hot flushes and night sweats.


Menopause can last from 7 to 10 years

Post menopause remains for the remainder of a woman’s life.


There is a slightly increased risk of developing osteoporosis during menopause.

There is a greatly increased risk of developing osteoporosis during post menopause.


In conclusion, menopause and post menopause are two different stages in a woman's life. Menopause marks the end of menstruation, while post menopause refers to the period after menstruation has ended. Women may experience different symptoms during each stage, and their healthcare needs may also differ.

It is important for women to stay informed about these changes and seek appropriate medical care to maintain their overall health and well-being.

Updated on: 26-Apr-2023


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