World Menopause Month 2023
By: Brianna MacLean

From Halloween to Canadian Thanksgiving, World Teachers Day to National Pasta, the month of October has long been home to a diverse collection of special days and observances. One that many might not know is October 18th, which marks World Menopause Day, which takes place during World Menopause Awareness Month.

Originally designated in 2009 by the International Menopause Society (IMS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), World Menopause Awareness Month was established to raise international awareness of menopause, the natural process in which the female menstrual cycle and reproductive window comes to an official close.

From as early as 35 to as late as 55, women enter a time of biological transition with the emergence of perimenopause. During this time, female ovaries begin to produce less estrogen in preparation to stop releasing eggs, which in turn causes their menstrual cycle to become irregular and unpredictable. Depending on the woman, perimenopause can last for only a few months or can last for several years, but the destination is always the same: women stop menstruating altogether. Once a woman has gone at least 12 months straight without a period, she has officially transitioned from perimenopause to menopause.

Throughout both perimenopause and menopause, women will typically experience an array of symptoms, including:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Memory loss
  • Osteoporosis
  • Loss of breast fullness


Some women might only encounter mild symptoms during this phase of their life that don’t require any treatments at all or can be easily treated by simple lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a balanced diet or keeping a portable fan on your person. However, for other women, their menopausal symptoms can be more severe. While menopause is not something that can be cured, there are still several medical interventions and natural treatments available today that can assist women in relieving and managing their particularly uncomfortable symptoms, such as over-the-counter medication prescribed by a doctor.

The hormonal imbalance due to the reduction of estrogen produced during the menopausal process can also severely affect female cardiovascular health, resulting in:

  • An increase in blood pressure
  • The development of atherosclerosis (the hardening and narrowing of the arteries) which can lead to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • An elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes


Like their male counterparts, heart disease is internationally the leading cause of death for women. It is for this reason that the theme for World Menopause Day 2023 is Cardiovascular Disease to increase awareness and encourage taking preventative action on a global scale.

During the 19th century, menopause was perceived as a disease that could and should be treated with a collection of “cures” such as regular injections of belladonna, lead, and pulverized cow ovaries to prevent the process from continuing. While we have thankfully moved on from this misguided perspective, menopause is still often perceived to this day as something that should be feared by all women. World Menopause Awareness Day and Month are both dedicated to challenging the negative attitudes that many people still hold about menopause and allow women to embrace this natural new chapter of their lives with support and grace.


International Menopause Society

The North American Menopause Society

Menopause Foundation of Canada