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Why menopause matters

Over a million people in the U.S. become menopausal each year. Yet  this important life stage is under-studied, under-treated and often carries a stigma*. At Aetna®, a CVS Health® company, we think it’s time that changed. And we’re here to support you every step of the way.

The facts about menopause

The facts about menopause

The menopause journey is unique to every person, but generally begins between the ages of 45 and 55. It lasts seven years on average, and consists of three stages:


Perimenopause is the time before your menstrual cycle stops. This is when you can start having symptoms, due to decreasing levels of estrogen. Estrogen is an important hormone. It protects your heart, brain and bones. It helps your bones and muscles stay strong. It's also essential for your skin and hair.


For some people this stage can feel overwhelming. Educating yourself and talking to your provider can help; there may be precautions you can take and things you can do to prepare. 


Some of the most common menopause symptoms include:


  • Change in/irregular periods
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Sleep loss/insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Hot flashes


Your provider may do some tests to make sure any health changes are due to menopause. You should also know that it’s still possible to get pregnant during perimenopause.


Menopause begins when you haven’t had your period for the past 12 months. This is a time to manage your symptoms and focus on preventive care.


Postmenopause is the last stage, when symptoms start to become mild or disappear completely, and you haven’t had your period for more than a year.

Informed is empowered

Informed is empowered

In addition to experiencing symptoms like those above, your body may go through changes as your ovaries produce less estrogen. Estrogen is an important hormone in reproductive health. But it also helps protect the blood vessels around your heart from getting blocked. And it helps your bones stay strong. That’s why it’s important to monitor your blood pressure and get routine preventive screenings such as bone density tests and cholesterol screenings.


Also, people who’ve had cancer or certain surgeries may be more likely to have an earlier onset of menopause.


You might want to learn your family’s history with menopause. Knowing when your direct relatives first had symptoms can help your provider determine if you’re starting this journey. 

Support is available

Support is available

Be sure to continue getting annual wellness exams. And tell your provider about any new or worsening symptoms. They may recommend lifestyle changes or more support for things like mental health and nutrition.


You can also get treatment for menopause symptoms at MinuteClinic®*. And to schedule an appointment with an in-network specialist, visit Gennev, the nation’s largest virtual menopause clinic. Led by board-certified OB/GYNs, Gennev’s integrated care includes weight management and metabolic guidance by dietitians as well as prescription medication and labs. All covered by your health insurance.


*FOR UNDER-STUDIED AND UNDER-TREATED REFERENCE: Menopause is ubiquitous, so why is it often stigmatized and ignored? PBS NewsHour, April 30, 2023. Accessed August 14, 2023.

*FOR MINUTECLINIC VISITS: For a complete list of participating walk-in clinics, log in to use our provider lookup. Walk-in appointments are based on availability and not guaranteed. Online scheduling is recommended. Includes select MinuteClinic services. Not all MinuteClinic services are covered. Please consult benefit documents to confirm which services are included. Members enrolled in qualified high-deductible health plans must meet their deductible before receiving covered non-preventive MinuteClinic services at no cost-share. However, such services are covered at negotiated contract rates. This benefit is not available in all states. 

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