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Diseases & Conditions

Menopause: Q&A with Jennifer Poptic MD

Does the onset of menopause differ for women who have never given birth?

It doesn’t matter one bit. The onset of menopause is more closely related to the age that your female relatives went through menopause. Menopause is not dictated by the age you started your first period or on how many pregnancies you have had.

Will menopause start earlier if a woman took fertility drugs?

No. Menopause is directly related to the brain’s affect on the ovaries and the ovary’s production of hormones. Fertility drugs have no effect on the age of menopause.

I am having hot flashes, could I still be going through menopause?

Yes. If you have not had a period in 12 months, you are considered to be in menopause. Very few women do not experience hot flashes, but as long as you have not had your period for 12 consecutive months, you are considered to be menopausal.

Is there an increased risk of migraine for women who choose to take estrogen for menopausal symptoms?

Yes, possibly. Women with a history of migraine who take estrogen (i.e. birth control pills or hormone therapy) may experience a worsening of their migraine. Headache can be one of the more common side effects from estrogen containing medications.

How does flaxseed affect hormone levels?

Flaxseed does not affect hormone levels. In studies it was not shown to decrease menopausal symptoms. It is, however, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and may be useful for modestly decreasing cholesterol if taking 40 grams per day.

Jennifer Poptic, MD, is a family practitioner, Cleveland Clinic Brunswick Family Health Center

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 5/14/2009…#14398