Perimenopause is not a linear experience – that is, its course, symptomatology and severity vary by each individual woman, though there are some common denominators.
However, for years scientists have been investigating many perimenopausal factors, including onset, level of debility and longevity of symptoms by racial groups and ethnicities. One of the most interesting and compelling studies is the SWAN study, also known as the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, which first started in 1996.
A subset of this major research study has unearthed race-specific findings, showing that the perimenopause experience may in some ways be associated with ethnicity. Given the diversity of women participating in SWAN over the years, researchers have had the capacity to evaluate women’s experiences from a physical, racial, biological, sociological and psychological lens. At the start of the SWAN study, 28 percent of participants were African-American, 47 percent were White, eight percent were Hispanic, eight percent were Chinese and nine percent were Japanese. Study participants were followed every year during the first 10 years and then every other year subsequently.
Many facts about menopause digest key points into an aggregate, one usually represented by the largest swath of the U.S. female population – white women. But within the predominating factoids about menopause, such as the average age of complete menopause being 51 in the United States, are other layers of nuance and differentiation. For example, the average of menopause for Black women is two years sooner, age 49. (Note: Menopause is defined as going 12 months in a row without a period. By most estimates, perimenopause – the time leading up to menopause when women are often symptomatic – can last 4-12 years).
Key Racial and Ethnicity Findings
The Real Peri Meno is devoted to all things perimenopause - the science, treatments, care, understanding, personal experiences, relationships, culture and more. The brain child of Keisha D. Edwards, The Real Peri Meno developed out of her own shock-and-awe experience with perimenopause and navigating the disjointed U.S. medical system in search of answers, support and relief.
All Antidepressants Anxiety Black Women Body Positivity Body Type Depression Doctors Emotions Healthcare Hormones HRT Insomnia Meditation Melatonin Menopause Mental Health Midlife Midlife Medical Minute NAMS Natural Remedies Perimenopause Personal Stories Relationships Reproductive Aging Research Serotonin Sleep Well Being Well-Being Women Of Color